This study explored the influence of age in understanding mental skills utilization in the context of performance at a major national golf competition. Participants, who ranged in age and in skill level, included 1,150 male and 170 female amateur golfers competing in the Dupont World Amateur Golf Championship in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Measures targeted general mental skills used in competitions, golf-specific skills, and competitive trait anxiety. Hierarchical linear regression was utilized to explore the potential moderating role that chronological age may play in influencing the impact of psychological skills and anxiety on competitive tournament performance across the adult life span. Findings suggested no significant age-moderating effects and instead pointed to the importance of developing golf-specific psychological skills to enhance or maintain performance, irrespective of age. Although automaticity (performance feels "automatic") predicted performance for all golfers, commitment to the game and confidence in one's putting did so only for the men. These findings reinforce the age-irrelevant role of such skills in fostering the experience of peak performance in a competitive sport context and underscore the importance of interventions targeting older players to help maintain or facilitate the use of psychological skills in helping them manage their games.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 01/1987; 51(6):1173-82. DOI:10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.523 · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Continuity Theory holds that, in making adaptive choices, middle-aged and older adults attempt to preserve and maintain existing internal and external structures; and they prefer to accomplish this objective by using strategies tied to their past experiences of themselves and their social world. Change is linked to the person's perceived past, producing continuity in inner psychological characteristics as well as in social behavior and in social circumstances. Continuity is thus a grand adaptive strategy that is promoted by both individual preference and social approval.
The Gerontologist 05/1989; 29(2):183-90. DOI:10.1093/geront/29.2.183 · 3.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three field experiments are reported in which skilled miniature golf players varying in age were studied in three types of activities: training, minor competitions, and large competitions. Performance (i.e., number of shots) and arousal (heart rate and subjective ratings of anxiety) measures were registered in all types of activities. The major finding was that the level of performance of older adult players deteriorated in the large competitions, whereas groups of younger adult players, junior players, and youth players performed at the same level in all three events, although all of the groups exhibited a similar increase in arousal from training and minor competitions to large competitions. We suggest that older players may have a deficit in the ability to compensate for the negative effects of nonoptimal levels of arousal because of impairments in a variety of cognitive abilities critical to successful performance.
Psychology and Aging 07/1986; 1(2):133-9. DOI:10.1037/0882-79184.108.40.206 · 2.73 Impact Factor
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