Simon & Martens revisited: Competitive anxiety in youth sports

Yago Ramis, Miquel Torregrosa, Jaume Cruz


This work revisits and updates a classic sport psychology article by Simon and Martens (1979). As in that case, our study compares competitive trait anxiety in different sports and recreational activities grouped by two variables: Collaboration, which distinguishes between individual and collective activities; and Skill, which distinguishes between activities in which common skills are required and those in which perceptual skills are required. 643 athletes and 140 castellers answered the Sport Anxiety Scale-2 and their ratings were compared using analysis of variance considering Collaboration and Skill variables, as well as the interaction between them. Results suggest that athletes participating in activities in which a common skill is required show higher levels of Somatic Anxiety and Worries. Moreover, participants in individual sports rate higher in Concentration Disruption than those in collective sports or recreational activities. An interactive effect of Collaboration and Skill variables was found on the Worries subscale. An additional comparison between athletic and recreational activities was conducted showing that the Somatic Anxiety of the castellers is equivalent to athletes, but concerning Worries and Concentration Disruption, athletes’ ratings were significantly higher.

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