Article

Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction, Stress-Related Appraisals, and Dancers' Cortisol and Anxiety Responses

School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, United Kingdom.
Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology (Impact Factor: 2.59). 12/2011; 33(6):828-46.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) posits basic psychological need satisfaction (BPNS) as essential for optimal functioning and health. Grounded in this framework, the current study examined the role of BPNS in dancers' cognitive appraisals and hormonal and emotional responses to performance stress. Dancers reported their degree of BPNS 1 month before a solo performance. Threat and challenge appraisals of the solo were recorded 2 hr before the performance. Salivary cortisol and anxiety were measured 15 min before, and 15, 30, 45, and 60 min postperformance. Higher BPNS was associated with lower cortisol responses and anxiety intensity. Challenge appraisals mediated the association between BPNS and cortisol. Threat appraisals mediated the BPNS-anxiety intensity relationship. These findings point to the potential importance of performers' BPNS for optimal emotional and hormonal homeostasis in performance conditions.

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    • "Sport devaluation refers to a loss of interest or resentment toward performance and the sport. Some studies on burnout in the sports context (Cresswell and Eklund, 2005a;Cresswell and Eklund, 2005b; Lemyre, Roberts, andGundersen, 2007;Lemyre, Treasure and Roberts, 2006;Quested et al., 2011) have been carried out within the SDT framework (Deci and Ryan, 2002;Ryan and Deci, 2001). However few research studies have analyzed the relation between basic psychological needs (i.e., autonomy, competence, and relatedness) and burnout in the sports context (Carlin, Garcés de los Fayos and De Francisco, 2012). "

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    • "The role of needs satisfaction as a coping resource in predicting cognitive appraisals has also been suggested. For example , Quested et al. (2011) have shown that the association between basic needs satisfaction and dancers' stress responses were mediated by challenge and threat appraisals. If people feel autonomous, competent, and related in their social context during their stressful encounters, they would be more likely to appraise the events as challenges that can be overcome, instead of threats (potential harm) or damages (actual harm) that can undermine well-being. "
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    • "These authors have postulated that the focus of attention may be on task-relevant cues following a challenge evaluation, whereas attention may be directed to task-irrelevant cues following a threat evaluation. As a threat evaluation is linked to increased anxiety (Jones et al., 2009; Moore et al., 2012; Quested et al., 2011), parallels can be drawn to recent research which has identified that increased anxiety causes disruptions to attentional control and a breakdown in perceptual motor skill performance (see Wilson, 2012 for a review). Much of this research has discussed the anxiety-induced impairment of optimal attentional control in relation to the predictions of attentional control theory (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007). "
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