Authors: Jessica Wolverton1 & Urska Dobersek2
1Athletics Department, McDaniel College, Westminster, USA; 2Department of Psychology, University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN USA
Jessica Wolverton, M.S.
2 College Hill Westminster, MD 21157
Jessica Wolverton, MS is a former collegiate volleyball coach and a current collegiate athletics administrator. Her research focus includes well-being, mental health resourcing, and programming for student-athletes.
Urska Dobersek, Ph.D., CMPC is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Southern Indiana. Her research interests include individuals’ identities, objectification of women, sexual and mate selection, and diet and mental health
Affective Forecasting and Social Physique Anxiety among Female Athletes: A Pilot Study
While people make affective forecasts every day, they overestimate the impact of future events on their emotional states — displaying an impact bias. Comparatively few studies examined athletes’ accuracy of specific emotions in aesthetic sports. To remedy this gap, we explored predicted social physique anxiety and self-presentational concerns in an experimental analysis of 156 female collegiate volleyball players between 18 and 23 years of age. Athletes completed a Demographic Questionnaire and the Trait Anxiety Inventory before being randomly assigned to one of the four experimental conditions (i.e., control, practice, intersquad scrimmage game, or heavy spectator game). After the manipulation, their social physique anxiety levels and self-presentational concerns in sport were assessed. A one-way Analysis of Variance revealed significant differences among the conditions on social physique anxiety, F(3, 152) = 4.70, p = .004, h2 = .09. Specifically, Tukey HSD post-hoc test revealed that athletes in the control condition scored higher on social physique anxiety (M = 2.74, SD = 0.71) compared with intersquad scrimmage game condition (M = 2.15, SD = 0.70), p < .01, d = .83. No other significant differences were observed. Contrary to prior literature, athletes overestimated their forecasted anxiety in the control group and underestimated their forecasted social physique anxiety levels in a game closed to large crowds. Our study extends previous work on affective forecasting, and more importantly, provides additional information on specific emotions in aesthetic sports. Our findings suggest that coaches and sport psychology consultants could potentially reduce athletes’ social physique anxiety and self-presentational concerns by channeling their attention to the task at hand.
Key Words: affective forecasting, social physique anxiety, self-presentational concerns, pilot study(more…)