Trait anxiety and coping strategies among ballet dancers

Barrell, Gene. M. and Terry, Peter C. (2003) Trait anxiety and coping strategies among ballet dancers. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 18 (2). pp. 59-64. ISSN 0885-1158


The present investigation examined relationships between competitive trait anxiety and coping strategies among ballet dancers. Participants were 104 classical dancers (81 females and 23 males) ranging in age from 15 to 35 years (M = 19.4 yr., SD = 3.8 yr.) from three professional ballet companies, two private dance schools, and two university dance courses in Australia. Participants completed the Modified COPE scale and the Sport Anxiety Scale. Trait anxiety scores, in particular for Somatic Anxiety and Worry, were significant predictors of seven of the 12 coping strategies (Wishful Thinking: R2 = 42.3%, Self-Blame: R2 = 35.7%, Suppression of Competing Activities: R2 = 27.1%, Venting of Emotions: R2 = 23.2%, Denial: R2 = 17.7%, Effort: R2 = 16.6%, Active Coping: R2 = 14.3%). Approximately 96% of dancers could be correctly classified as high or low trait-anxious from their reported coping style. No significant effects of gender or status (professional versus students) were found. Findings showed that high trait-anxious athletes tend to use more maladaptive, emotion-focused coping strategies compared to low trait-anxious athletes; a tendency that has been proposed to lead to negative performance effects. Dancers who are, by nature, anxious about performance may need special attention to help them to learn to cope with performance-related stress.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to paper due to publisher copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2009 10:48
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: stress, performance anxiety, coping strategies
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170114 Sport and Exercise Psychology
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190403 Dance
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920505 Occupational Health

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