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An online survey was used to explore emotion regulation strategies used by runners (N = 506, mean age = 37.69 years, SD = 8.84 years) in the hour prior to training or competition. Content analysis of responses identified 28 categories of emotion regulation strategy, with the most popular being goal setting (23%), distraction (12%), recall of past performance accomplishments (12%), and anticipated pleasant emotions after running (10%). Participants reported greater use of cognitive strategies than behavioural ones, with responses suggesting that emotion regulation and performance management are closely related. Given this cognitive focus, and given the performance aspect inherent to running, it is suggested that individuals' approaches to emotion regulation in sport and exercise contexts differ somewhat from those involved in general daily activities reported in the social psychology literature.
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International Journal of Sport and
Exercise Psychology
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Emotion regulation strategies used in
the hour before running
Damian M. Stanley
, Andrew M. Lane
, Christopher J. Beedie
Andrew P. Friesen
& Tracey J. Devonport
School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure, University of
Wolverhampton, Walsall, UK
Available online: 05 Apr 2012
To cite this article: Damian M. Stanley, Andrew M. Lane, Christopher J. Beedie, Andrew P. Friesen
& Tracey J. Devonport (2012): Emotion regulation strategies used in the hour before running,
International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, DOI:10.1080/1612197X.2012.671910
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Emotion regulation strategies used in the hour before running
Damian M. Stanley*, Andrew M. Lane, Christopher J. Beedie, Andrew P. Friesen
and Tracey J. Devonport
School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure, University of Wolverhampton, Walsall, UK
(Received 18 April 2011; nal version received 1 August 2011)
An online survey was used to explore emotion regulation strategies used by runners (N = 506,
mean age = 37.69 years, SD = 8.84 years) in the hour prior to training or competition. Content
analysis of responses identied 28 categories of emotion regulation strategy, with the most
popular being goal setting (23%), distraction (12%), recall of past performance
accomplishments (12%), and anticipated pleasant emotions after running (10%). Participants
reported greater use of cognitive strategies than behavioural ones, with responses suggesting
that emotion regulation and performance management are closely related. Given this
cognitive focus, and given the performance aspect inherent to running, it is suggested that
individuals approaches to emotion regulation in sport and exercise contexts differ
somewhat from those involved in general daily activities reported in the social psychology
Keywords: emotion; mood; affect; self-regulation; psychological skills
Evidence suggests that athletes experience emotions such as excitement, joy, relief, anger, dejec-
tion, and anxiety in training and competition (e.g., Hanin, 2000; Jones, Lane, Bray, Uphill, &
Catlin, 2005).
It has also been demonstrated that emotions inuence the process and outcome
of athletic performance, and that some emotions, such as anger and anxiety, might be associated
with both successful and unsuccessful performance (e.g., Beedie, Terry, & Lane, 2000). The
complex links between emotion and performance are increasingly being demonstrated (e.g.,
see Hanin, 2007; Lane, 2008). However, a concern remaining for sport and exercise scientists
is how best to ensure that athletes attain and maintain optimal emotional states prior to and
during competition.
Emotion regulation is dened as a set of automatic and controlled processes involved in the
initiation, maintenance and modication of the occurrence, intensity, and duration of feeling states
(Eisenberg, Fabes, Guthrie, & Reiser, 2000). In the social psychology literature, emotion regu-
lation has attracted considerable attention (for a recent meta-analysis see Augustine & Hemen-
over, 2008). Findings suggest that individuals not only monitor their emotional states and
make judgements about these, but that they develop strategies to increase, decrease, or maintain
emotions when they perceive this to be necessary (e.g., Niven, Totterdell, & Holman, 2009;
Parkinson & Totterdell, 1999; Thayer, Newman, & McClain, 1994).
Researchers in social psychology have identied a wide range of emotion regulation strategies
used by individuals in everyday life (e.g., Thayer et al., 1994). Subsequent work has sought to
ISSN 1612-197X print/ISSN 1557-251X online
© 2012 International Society of Sport Psychology 0
*Corresponding author. Email:
International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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classify such strategies. For example, Parkinson and Totterdell (1999) distinguished between cog-
nitive and behavioural emotion regulation strategies (e.g., trying to understand ones emotions, or
going shopping, respectively), and between avoidance (e.g., diverting attention away from ones
emotions via techniques such as looking at pictures of a loved one) and engagement strategies
(e.g., directly attending to emotions being experienced via techniques such as thinking
logically about ones emotions, in order to understand their cause). Niven et al. (2009) suggested
the classication of emotion regulation strategies into those used with the intention of either
improving or worsening the emotions of others (e.g., complimenting or ignoring someone,
respectively). Gross and John (2003) suggested classication of emotion regulation strategies
into those that are either antecedent-focused (e.g., attempting to regulate emotions before an
anticipated emotional event, such as viewing an interview as an opportunity to learn more
about a job, rather than a test of ones worth) or response-focused (e.g., suppressing an
emotion after it has occurred).
In sport, Stevens and Lane ( 2001) found some support among athletes for the utility of strat-
egies previously reported in social psychology. Changing location, exercising and listening to
music were the most popular strategies among athletes, with certain strategies unique to the tar-
geting of particular emotions (e.g., seeking to be alone was used for the regulation of anger).
Stevens and Lane concluded that athletes perceive emotions as controllable and not deterministic
reactions to external factors.
However, it is possible that Stevens and Lanes (2001) ndings, based on a social psychology
framework (Thayer et al., 1994), do not reect the full range of strategies utilised by athletes to
regulate emotions prior to or during performance. For example, many of the emotion regulation
situations in Thayers framework did not have any kind of task or performance element. Further-
more, a number of the strategies described would not be practical or suitable before or during ath-
letic performance (e.g., going shopping or drinking alcohol). Therefore questions remain
concerning the range of emotion regulation strategies used by athletes, and the degree to
which these strategies differ from those used in nonsporting contexts. The emotion regulation lit-
erature in social psychology is substantial. Gaining a comprehensive description of emotion regu-
lation strategies used by athletes might help to determine the degree to which the models,
measures, and interventions developed in social psychology might be applicable to sport, and
might also pave the way for work assessing the effectiveness of these strategies. Accordingly,
the present study used an open-ended survey approach to allow participants the opportunity to
describe emotion regulation strategies they use prior to performance. Prior work (e.g., Campen
& Roberts, 2001; Stevens & Lane, 2001) was extended by recruiting a larger, more heterogeneous
sample in age, gender and competitive level.
Participants were 506 runners (189 male/317 female) ranging in age from 16 to 67 years (mean
age = 37.69 years, SD = 8.84 years). Participants reported the weekly mileage they run, with a
mean value of 22.74 miles (SD = 12.87). They were also asked whether they run in organised
races/events, and if so, what their upper distance limit is. Responses covered participants who
do not attend such events (n = 10), those specifying they do not attend because they are beginner
runners ( n = 4), and upper distances of up to 3.1 miles (5 km; n = 15), up to 6.2 miles (10 km;
n = 114), up to half marathon (n = 189), up to full marathon (n = 144), and 30 missing values.
Participants highest level of competition was recreational (n = 306), club (n = 111), regional
(n = 48), national (n = 26) and international (n = 14), with one missing value. The distance of
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the run being referred to in participants descriptions of their use of emotion regulation strategies
was also reported. The mean distance was 8.91 miles (SD = 6.71).
Following institutional ethics approval, participants were invited to complete an online survey
via the website of the popular magazine Runners World ( A link
to the survey was placed on the home page of the magazines website for two weeks in mid
2010. After providing demographic information, participants were requested to respond to the
Try to remember how you felt before you performed in a recent running event. This could be an organ-
ised race or a training session but it should be one where you experienced intense emotions. Once you
have an event in your mind, please indicate how you felt approximately 1 hour before performance in
the space below.
In relation to how you felt before the performance above, what strategies did you use to inuence the
way you were feeling? It does not matter whether the strategies worked or not, please simply indicate
those you used. Please provide details about these strategies in the space below.
Participants provided open-ended responses using as many words as they required. The time
frame of one hour before performance was selected as this is the standard time to assess emotional
states shortly before competition (see Martens, Vealey, Burton, Bump, & Smith, 1990). Despite
this time period being the focus of the present study, researchers should note that precompetitive
emotions can extend beyond this timeframe (see Cerin, Szab o, Hunt, & Williams, 2000).
Data analysis proce dures
A conventional content analysis (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005) was performed to generate categories
of emotion regulation strategies employed by participants. Content analysis is dened as a
research method for the subjective interpretation of the content of text data through the systema-
tic classication process of coding and identifying themes or patterns (Hsieh & Shan non,
p. 1278). It describes the phenomenon under examination through the identication of core con-
sistencies and meanings in a large volume of qualitative material (Patton, 2002).
The authors rst read through the athletes responses several times to familiarise themselves
with the data, and independently derived text codes from the data by highlighting words and
phrases from the responses that seemed to capture key concepts or themes (Hsieh & Shannon,
2005). Categories were freely generated at this stage with the initial coding scheme based directly
on the participants verbatim responses. The authors dened as many groups of statements as they
believed necessary to describe all aspects of the data (Elo & Kyngäs, 2007). Where statements
included two or more strategies, or described two overlapping strategies (e.g., visualising the
run ahead and visualising achieving ones goal for the run), responses were coded into both rel-
evant categories. Multiple group examinations of the data were then undertaken. Examination of
the various interpretatio ns of the individual authors led to revisions of the thematic framework and
a nal consensual structure.
In terms of consensus in data coding, the nal framework represented over 95% agreement
between the authors. This is likely the result of data being relatively simple, that is, participant
International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 3
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responses were mostly short single-sentence statements rather than in-depth paragraphs. The main
area of disagreement between authors related to the temporal nature of emotion regulation. Dis-
cussions focused on whether the most appropriate classication for some of the responses should
be a Temporal general dimension, with responses categorised in themes representing a Future
focus (e.g., how one will feel after running), Present focus (e.g., focusing on ones warm up)
and Past focus (e.g., thinking about past successes). However, it was decided that such
responses could be organised into other themes that would better highlight subtle differences
in the responses (e.g., past focus responses could be classied into using positive thoughts
about past accomplishments to foster pleasant emotions, or using negative past experiences to
alter ones current emotions).
To further improve the trustworthiness of our analysis, we provide sufcient verbatim
examples in the text of the Results section and in Figure 1 (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005; Morse &
Field, 1995).
The emotion regulation strategies were grouped into ve general dimensions (task preparation,
avoidance, positive thinking, negative thinking, self in relation to others), wh ich are presented
in this order below (the number of participants and the percentage of the total sample who
reported using each strategy appear in parentheses in each subheading).
Task preparation
Goal setting (n = 117, 23%). Goals were used to regulate emotions in a variety of ways. Some
participants explained using a goal to induce positive emotions (e.g., I thought about my
targets to make myself feel better,”“I looked forward to seeing if I could improve my time
from my previous run of this length). Others regulated emotions by anticipating how it would
feel to achieve a goal (e.g., thinking about the goal Im training towards and how itll feel to
complete it). Some participants used goals as a source of pressure to perform well (e.g., I
have to nish rst in my team and always top 10, whatever the pain, have to do that). Non-
performance goals were also evident; some participants reported running for charity and focusing
on this as a means of regulating emotion (e.g., I was raising money for charity so I focused on the
benets of this too).
Listening to music (n = 45, 9%). Music was used to regulate emotions, with reference typically
being made to music with an upbeat tempo or style (e.g., I listened to upbeat music to make
myself feel better). Some described music as helping to feel better in general terms. Other
participants made reference to specic intended outcomes of using music, such as increasing
arousal levels (e.g.,
played music to make me more aggressive,”“upbeat music to feel better
and energised before a run).
Visualisation (n = 42, 8.5%). Participants reported using mental images focused on the end of
the run, and several explicitly referred to time as a factor in the image (e.g., picture myself n-
ishing the race and in the time I wanted,”“picture the outcome, the time on the clock on the nish
line). Image content pertaining to overcoming obstacles was also described (e.g., I tried to
imagine reaching a difcult point in the race and how that would feel, then imagined myself over-
coming the difculty and running strong). Participants made reference to imaging aspects of
their race strategy or the running course (e.g., Imagining the run, for example, slower start,
increase pace etc.), and also gave examples of imaging running with good technique (e.g.,
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Figure 1. Raw data examples, higher order themes, and general dimensions, including popularity of each
International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 5
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I carefully planned the race in my head, trying to use mental imagery of myself running well,
comfortable etc.).
Task focus (physical) (n = 29, 5.5%). In addition to actual physical preparation before the run,
participants reported focusing on physical aspects of the task ahead (e.g., Thinking about coach-
ing details like stretching out my stride,”“Tried to concentrate on good technique and feeling
relaxed). Participants indicated that this physical focus could help to dispel negative emotions
experienced before running (e.g., Focused on the physical act of running itself to clear negative
Physical preparation (n = 24, 4.5%). Participants indicated that preparing physically aided
them in regulating emotions before the run, often explicitly linking physical and psychological
preparation. For example, one participant described using a longer than normal warm up to
try and loosen up both physically and mentally. Another described wanting to concentrate
on being properly hydrated, for the physical effect and the psychological. Several participants
described giving themselves more time to undertake a complete preparation routine (e.g., allo-
cate more than ample time to do the routine - bathroom, sunscreen, lace up etc.). Some partici-
pants described the emotional aims of this preparation (e.g., Jogged to warm up and distract
myself from my anxiety). Among these physical preparations, deep breathing was a popular
technique for remaining calm (e.g., Focusing on my breathing and counting to four over and
over again to free my thoughts,”“Focusing on breathing and relaxing,”“Deep breaths to stay
Task focus (race strategy) (n = 24, 4.5%). Participants reported regulating their emotions by
mentally preparing for, and planning, the run ahead. These strategies primarily addressed what
needed to be done to perform well (e.g., Just went through what I knew I needed to do in the
race,”“Thought about tactics and a positive race strategy that would allow me to run my best).
Distraction (n = 62, 12%). Participants described distraction as a means of regulating their
emotions, and this took several forms. One was to divert attention from the challenges inherent
in the task (e.g., I chatted to friends and strangers before the run to take my mind off the dis-
tance,”“Tried to keep calm and not think about the run at all,”“I distracted myself by watching
other people around me and listening in to their conversations). A variation on this theme, linked
to the desire to distract oneself from a run, was participants trying not only to avoid thoughts of
running, but to dispel thoughts altogether (e.g., Tried not to think about anything at all).
Downplaying outcomes (n = 29, 5.5%). Participants reported deemphasising or downplaying
the importance of outcomes for a variety of emotion regulation purposes; primarily it diminished
pressure and anxiety related to performance. One participant reported having thought that in the
grand scheme of things, performance in this race really did not matter all that much, which took
pressure off and helped me to relax. Another explained:
I minimised the importance of my
potential performance to make myself feel better, reduce anxiety. Other participants provided
examples of reducing the importance of outcomes to have an excuse for poor anticipated perform-
ance (e.g., Telling myself that the race wasnt important. Id just take it easy. I did a long run the
day before partly so I could use that as an excuse if I didnt beat my time). In situations such as
returning from injury, participants also displayed pragmatism toward run outcomes in order to
manage expectations or negative feelings about performance (e.g., Focus on level prior to
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injury and view this session as a trial so not to have excessive expectation,”“I just accepted that
the race might not go as well as I hoped, all for valid reasons such as interrupted training).
Positive thinking
Recall of past performance accomplishments (n = 63, 12%). Participants described recalling past
accomplishments as an emotion regulation strategy (e.g., concentrating on the knowledge that I
have done the distance before so would be able to do it again,”“think of past successes to make
me feel more condent about my potential performance). Several participants mentioned focus-
ing on training achievements and consistency before the current run (e.g., Reminded myself of
the training I had done, how far I had come and that there was no reason I could not do it).
Drawing from successes in other areas of life, one athletes emotion regulation strategy was to
think of past, previous triumphs whether in sport, work or anywhere.
Anticipated pleasant emotions after running (n = 52, 10%). Anticipating the emotions that
could follow a run was a common emotion regulation strategy. A number of participants described
anticipating feeling better in general terms (e.g., thought about how Id feel after the run. I
always feel great,”“I thought about how good Id feel aft er Id been for a run). More specic
emotions were also described (e.g., thinking about the nish line and the feeling of relief of
crossing the line,”“think about the nish and how happy Id be when Id done it). These antici-
pated emotions also spread to a wider sense of self-esteem, as indicated by quotes such as I try to
force myself to remember how good I feel about myself after a run, and thinking how pleased I
would be with myself when I had nished.
Self-reassura nce (n = 34, 6.5%). Reassuring oneself with positive statements or afrmations
was a strategy used to regulate emotions (e.g., Reassured myself that I would do well,
Trying to reassure myself that I had done the preparation).
General positivity (n = 22, 4.5%). Participants reported using positive thinking, but did so in a
nonspecic way, with typical examples being: Thinking positively about what was coming up,
Anchoring in a positive state,
and Tried to think positive.
Active enjoyment (n = 16, 3%). Some participants reported regulating emotions before the run
by focusing on enjoyment (e.g., I focused on and on enjoying the run,”“Tried to remember
this was for fun), or actively trying to making the run enjoyable (e.g., I deliberately chose one
section of the run to enjoy. I decided it would be my favourite bit before I set off and looked
forward to it).
Anticipated benets (n = 15, 3%). Possible benets associated with running were used to regu-
late emotions. These were typically expressed in appearance or tness terms (e.g., I th ought
about the benets of exercise and dwelt on knowing a run would be good for me). Thinking posi-
tively about benets to future performance was also done (e.g., As this was a run to a set heart
rate I focused on the improvements these sessions will make to my tness and running).
Doing ones best (n = 10, 2%). Whilst some participants regulated emotions by setting speci c
performance goals (above), others did so by aiming to do as well as possible on that given day
(e.g., Just tried to say do your best. Thats all you can do). For one participant this overlapped
with the theme of downplaying outcomes: Reduced the importance of the outcome so that I
could just do my best. Others demonstrated an understanding that performance might be
International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 7
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constrained by circumstances such as injury (e.g., I was honest and philosophical about the fact
that I had an injury and had missed some training so could only do my best on the day).
Gratitude (n = 6, 1%). Being grateful for being physically able to run helped several partici-
pants to regulate emotions (e.g., positive thinking about how lucky I was to be able to run
and enjoy the day,”“I thought on how fortunate I was to be able to participate). Some individuals
mentioned contemplating the hardships of others (e.g., reminding myself how lucky I am to be
able to run when so many others cannot,”“think about how hard life is for others, and if you can
run you have nothing to fear).
Anticipated behavioural rewards (n = 5, 1%). Anticipating behavioural rewards after a run was
used by a small number of participants (e.g., thinking about something nice after the race, like a
hot bath and nice meal,”“a nice meal I could have after the race and not worry about counting
Passive enjoyment (n = 2, .5%). While some participants used active language to express trying
to make the run more enjoyable, two discussed enjoyment in a passive way without concerted
effort to cause it (e.g., just enjoyed the sceneries and people around me).
Negative thinking
Negative focus (n = 44, 8.5%). Participants provided descriptions of focusing on current negative
emotions to either use them in a positive manner (e.g., Channelled negative emotions to my com-
petitiveness), or to dismiss any negative thoughts they were aware of, in order to up-regulate
pleasant emotions (e.g., Tried to empty my mind of negative thoughts, tried to think calm).
Reframing (n = 35, 7%). Current emotions were altered by either reframing negative thoughts,
or by recalling negative experiences overcome in the past. One participant described thinking
about a time when I felt worse and came through that, so this time would not be so bad,
while another thought about worse situations I have been in to balance current situation and
make me feel better. One participant remarked on engaging in a process of analysing negative
thoughts as they arose, to minimise them before running, stating: I thought about each negative
thought and thought it through logically and rationally. Thus, rather than suppressing or avoiding
negative thoughts, a number of participants used them in order to manage their emotions.
Anticipated unpleasant emotions (n = 14, 3%). Participants anticipated potential negative
emotions (e.g., I thought about how embarrassed I would feel if I complete the race in a bad
time,”“I also focused on how bad I would feel if I wimped out of nishing the run). Emotions
were also regulated by the anticipation of unpleasant experiences in the run ahead (e.g., tell
myself the worst is over in the rst 10 minutes!).
Self in relation to others
Receiving social support (n = 29, 5.5%). A number of participants provided examples of giving
and receiving social support. Emotions were regulated by sharing them with others (e.g.,
cussed feelings with others, compared feelings with others attending the race for camaraderie,
Just talked to others about how I felt, telling them that I knew I would not perform well since
I felt sluggish). Participants also described deliberately seeking support and reassuran ce from
others to regulate emotions or manage performance (e.g., Involving myself in discussions
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with my partner to try to reinforce my readiness to compete against the clock). Distraction was a
further emotion regulation function served by social support (e.g., Distracted myself by talking
to others, even complete strangers).
Giving social support (n = 15, 3%). Participants reported the altruistic provision of support to
others with no indication of this needing to be reciprocated. Examples are giving positive mess-
ages to less experienced runners, or talking to someone else in the same situation, trying to reas-
sure them.
Social comparison (n = 13, 2.5%). Some participants tried to feel better before their run via
comparison with others in a competitive manner, such as seeking to compare myself to other
runners on the start line and tell myself that I am faster than her, or having focused on the
fact that hundreds of other people would run more slowly than me. Other participants made
such comparisons to dispel or mitigate negative emotions, as illustrated by one individual
having tried to tell myself there are others here slower than myself as I fear Ill be the last
one to end!
Drawing inspiration from loved ones (n = 7, 1.5%) . Participants mentioned thinking of loved
ones (e.g., looking at photos of family and friends, or thinking about the love of my family and
my lost brother and the love I had for past lovers). Some participants reported planning to run
sections of a race with a particular loved one in mind and dedicating miles run to friends,
family, even pets as their emotion regulation strategy. For others, running in memory of a
deceased loved one had emotional importance and reinforced reasons for running (e.g., thinking
about the reason I was running, to raise money for the British Heart Foundation in memory of my
mother who passed away from heart disease in 2007).
Drawing inspiration from others (n = 5, 1%). Other people in the running environment were
also used to engender positive emotions (e.g., I tried to tap into other peoples optimism and hap-
piness, create a joke). Some used other peoples reasons for running to derive positive emotions
(e.g., I looked at other runners and the charity that they were running for and it gave me more
strength and reason to run faster and nish).
Avoiding others (n = 5, 1%). Seve ral participants described regulating their emotions by
seeking isolation from others before the run (e.g., Kept myself to myself, tried to allow time
to pass me by,”“Keep away from other runners as much as possible).
Negativity directed toward others (n = 2, .5%). A couple of participants mentioned strategies
involving criticising others or directing negative emotions at others (e.g., Vent my anxiety on
We investigated the strategies used by runners to regulate their emotions in the hour prior to a run.
Findings indicate that emotion regulation before running is focused largely on performance-
related factors, and is predominantly cognitive in nature. In describing attempts to regulate
their emotions, many participants reported utilising cognitive strategies to concentrate on the
achievement, appraisal, or re-evaluation of their performance goals. Behavioural emotion regu-
lation strategies were less frequently reported, with attending to physical preparation, and
seeking/using social support being the most prominent of these.
International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 9
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In their meta-analysis of emotion regulation strategies in social psychology, Augustine and
Hemenover (2008) found behavioural strategies were more effective than cognitive strategies
in terms of creating a larger hedonic shift. They asserted that this is the result of behavioural strat-
egies being easier to implement than cognitive strategies, which require greater emotion regu-
lation ability. Participants in the present study used behavioural strategies closely aligned with
those highlighted by Parkinson and Totterdell (1999), for example listening to music, deep breath-
ing, seeking reassurance, and looking at photos of loved ones. We suggest that the primary reason
for cognitive strategies being favoured over behavioural strategies in our sample is that the par-
ticipants had an imminent performance to manage, typically with an associated performance goal;
an evident tendency was for strategies to serve the dual purpose of emotion regulation and per-
formance management. Studies of emotion regulation in other areas of social psychology do
not necessarily involve contexts that include such a task performance element; a number of the
behavioural strategies identied by Parkinson and Totterdell (e.g., mend things, visit friends,
wash the car) might either be unfeasible or ineffective shortly before a run.
In a study of running and anxiety, Campen and Roberts (2001) reported that runners endorsed
coping strategies such as wearing particular shoes or engaging in a warm up, and suggested that
runners may not be able to distinguish between emotion regulation and performance management.
Our results suggest that this is not necessarily the case. When reporting physical preparation as a
strategy to regulate emotions, participants described both the physical preparation and the
emotional reason for doing this (e.g., Jogged to warm up and distract myself from my
anxiety). Thus, while we agree with Campen and Roberts that emotion regulation and perform-
ance management are closely aligned, it is perhaps incorrect to suggest that athletes do not recog-
nise any distinction. The open-ended response format used in the present study allowed
participants to provide a breadth of description arguably not permitted by the closed-response
format used by Campen and Roberts. Furthermore, while Campen and Roberts examined
anxiety coping strategies used over an extended period of time, the current ndings reect strat-
egies being used shortly before undertaking a run. The present study investigated emotion regu-
lation in the hour prior to running. It may be that athletes employ different strategies at different
times, or in varied situations. For example, when a competition is several weeks away, rather than
an hour away, it could be that athletes use behavioural emotion regulation strategies to a greater
degree. Future research could examine the situational variability of athletes use of emotion regu-
lation strategies, or whether these strategies change over time, for example, the possible extent to
which cognitive emotion regulation strategies predominate as an event draws nearer.
With regard to another major division of categories of emotion regulation strategies in social
psychology research, our ndings also correspond with the proposed distinction between avoid-
ance and engagement strategies (Augustine & Hemenover, 2008; Parkinson & Totterdell, 1999).
Again however, our results highlight the unique features of emotion regulation in a performance
context. Avoidance strategies represent those aimed at removing oneself from an emotional situ-
ation, via the use of a cognitive or behavioural strategy. Perhaps through necessity, with an athletic
task about to be undertaken, participants responses indicate that they were more inclined to
engage with their task than avoid it, and this was done via a range of behavioural strategies (e.
g., attending to ones physical preparation) and cognitive strategies (e.g., reviewing ones race
strategy). Attempts at avoidance typically took the form of distraction (e.g., diverting ones atten-
tion to something else), and were almost exclusively cognitive in nature. The only really clear
examples of behavioural avoidance strategies involved instigating conversations with others to
distract oneself from the task at hand, or of removing oneself from the company of others,
although even this could have been done with the intention of seeking isolation to focus attention
on the run. Therefore we reiterate our recommendation that future research is required to examine
the situational variability of emotion regulation in sport, to verify our nding that engagement is
10 D.M. Stanley et al.
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the more popular strategy in sport and exercise contexts, since it could be the case that when a task
or performance is not imminent, athletes make more use of behavioural avoidance strategies than
was the case here.
An intriguing point of comparison in our ndings versus those generated in recent research on
emotion regulation strategies in everyday activities relates to increasing unpleasant emotions.
Niven et al. (2009) reported individuals use strategies with the aim of worsening their emotions.
Tamir, Mitchell, and Gross (2008) explaine d that in the pursuit of a goal which holds personal
importance, an individual will endure unpleasant emotions in the short term, if this facilitates
the achievement of their longer-term objective. In this sense, if anxiety serves the instrumental
purpose of improving performance, then anxiety will not only be tolerated, but even increased
or induced. Participants described strategies similar to some of those outlined by Niven et al.
(e.g., looking for problems in ones current situation or thinking about negative experiences).
However, in most instances, participants also provided a particular instrumental reason for
doing this, typically a positive intended outcome. Respondents reported dwelling on past negative
experiences with the aim of spurring themselves on in the present situation , or with the aim of
deriving comfort that the present situation can be handled as it is not as bad as the recalled situ-
ation. Participants also described trying to capitalise on negative emotions to try to use them to
make themselves more competitive, or using music to up-regulate anger. This instrumental use
of emotions to achieve sport outcomes supports Tamirs work in social psychology and warrants
increased research attention in sport and exercise contexts.
Participants also reported analysing and channelling negative emotions. Such strategies are
reminiscent of cognitive strategies such as rationalisation and positive reappraisal described by
Augustine and Hemenover (2008). Future negative experiences such as the run being difcult
or painful were contemplated, but again with caveats such as the pain only being temporary, or
of having the resources to deal with this discomfort. Only in a few instances were examples of
emotion worsening provided without mention of a positive motivation or intended outcome
underpinning this. We again suggest that the important consideration here is that athletes are enga-
ging in a task with associated objectives, which their emotions can help them to achieve. In a sport
or exercise context, it therefore seems inappropriate to portray this kind of strategy described by
our participants as worsening, especially considering that when participants explained using
strategies akin to negative rumination or rationalisation (Augustine & Hemenover), it was done
with a positive aim at its core. Hence when describing athletes emotion regulation attempts, it
seems more conceptually suitable to use terminology such as the increasing or decreasing of par-
ticular emotions such as anxiety or anger (e.g., see Parkinson & Totterdell, 1999), rather than
emotion worsening per se.
Participants endorsement of music as a strategy to regulate their emotions, often with the
intention of altering arousal levels, is consistent with previous research highlighting music as
an effective strategy to enhance emotions before competition (Bishop, Karageorghis, &
Loizou, 2007). Technological advances have made music much more accessible and more porta-
ble, and this, with its implications for music as an available emotion regulation strategy, may be
something that research has not yet fully explored, and represents another direction for future
In addition to adopting a more open-ended approach than similar work on emotion regulation
in sport (e.g., Campen & Roberts, 2001; Stevens & Lane, 2001), the present study involved a
much larger and more heterogeneous sample in terms of age and competitive level, with male
and female runners also well represented. However, one limitation of our sample was that only
one sport/exercise activity was represented. It is possible that athletes in other sports use different
emotion regulation strategies. We also did not explore the perceived or real effectiveness of the
strategies described. However, our aim was to describe emotion regulation techniques and
International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 11
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thereby to form the basis of future work examining the effectiveness of these. In addressing inter-
personal emotion regulation, while some participants described the positive emotional effects of
camaraderie and social support, researching inter-individual emotion regulation in other sports,
especially team sports, may yield different results.
Present ndings suggest that runners employ many kinds of strategies to regulate their
emotions. In the performance context, these strategies differ from those reported elsewhere in
the social psychology literature, most notably by being more cognitive in their focus. It is
hoped that the current ndings can both serve to inform applied work by suggesting an array
of possible emotion regulation strategies, and to serve as a platform for future research to
further explore the ways in which athletes regulate their emotions, the effectiveness of their strat-
egies, and links with performance outcomes.
1. Debate over distinctions between the related constructs of emotion, mood and affect has been a feature
of the psychology and philosophy literatures for many years (see Beedie, Terry, & Lane, 2005). Given
that no generally accepted criterion to distinguish between these three has been proposed, and given that
the term emotion is arguably the most frequently used of the three in the description of human feeling
states in both the scientic literature and in everyday life, in the present manuscript we use the word
emotion. This is consistent with the approach adopted by a number of the authors from social psychol-
ogy whose work is cited in the present manuscript. Although the term affect can refer to either
emotions or moods, and might seem to be the more scientically appropriate term of the three, it is
not a word commonly used in everyday conversation by athletes, and therefore its adoption in a
paper grounded in that everyday language seemed inappropriate. In fact, Dennett (1991) described
the term affect as the awkward term [for emotion] favoured by psychologists (p. 45), whilst
Gregory (1987) suggested that it is a word largely limited to use in academic psychology.
Augustine, A.A., & Hemenover, S.H. (2008). On the relative effectiveness of affect regulation strategies: A
meta-analysis. Cognition and Emotion, 23, 11811220.
Beedie, C.J., Terry, P.C., & Lane, A.M. (2000). The prole of mood states and athletic performance: Two
meta-analyses. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 12, 4968.
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Bishop, D.T., Karageorghis, C.I., & Loizou, G. (2007). A grounded theory of young tennis players use of
music to manipulate emotional state. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 29, 584607.
Campen, C., & Roberts, D.C. (2001). Coping strategies of runners: Perceived effectiveness and match to
precompetitive anxiety. Journal of Sport Behavior, 24, 144161.
Cerin, E., Szabo, A., Hunt, N., & Williams, C. (2000). Temporal patterning of competitive emotions: A criti-
cal review. Journal of Sports Sciences, 18, 605626.
Dennett, D.C. (1991). Consciousness explained. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Co.
Eisenberg, N., Fabes, R.A., Guthrie, I.K., & Reiser, M. (2000). Dispositional emotionality and regulation:
Their role in predicting quality of social functioning. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,
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Elo, S., & Kyngäs, H. (2007). The qualitative content analysis process. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62,
Gregory, R.L. (1987). R.L Gregory (Ed.), The Oxford companion to the mind. Oxford: Oxford University
Gross, J.J., & John, O.P. (2003). Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: Implications for
affect, relationships and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 348362.
Hanin, Y.L. (2000). Y.L Hanin (Ed.), Emotions in sport. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
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International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 13
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... En lo referente a las muestras, en la mayoría de los estudios participaron entre 1 y 66 sujetos. En dos artículos se superó la centena (Speights et al., 2020;Stanley et al., 2012). Y únicamente en un estudio la muestra estaba compuesta por posts en lugar de personas (Stevens & Wood, 2019). ...
... En 3 estudios se recurrió a la modalidad escrita y en por los investigadores, sino construcciones en las que los valores, categorías, intereses, etc., se combinan con los textos analizados para dar lugar a temas y subtemas fieles al objeto de estudio. En relación con los métodos de análisis, se encontró que, en 13 estudios (Courvoisier et al., 2011;Gibbons & Groarke, 2018;Littlewood et al., 2018;Martinent et al., 2015;Normann & Hoff Esbjørn, 2020;Porter et al., 2016;Ringnes et al., 2017;Robbins & Vandree, 2009;Stevens & Wood, 2019;van der Horst et al., 2019;Van Doren et al., 2020;Wang et al., 2013;Willén, 2015), se había empleado el análisis temático (en 4 de estos casos el estudio cualitativo formaba parte de un diseño mixto), en 8 el análisis de contenido cualitativo (Drageset et al., 2010;Gumuchian et al., 2017;Haver et al., 2014;Kurki et al., 2015;Moscovitch et al., 2013;Stanley et al., 2012;Timraz et al., 2019;Williams, 2013), en 3 la teoría enraizada (grounded theory) (Lam et al., 2017;Morse et al., 2014;Speights et al., 2020) y en 1 el análisis del discurso (Ellis & Cromby, 2012). Según se informaba en los artículos, las indicaciones utilizadas para llevar a cabo el análisis temático fueron en general las propuestas por Braun & Clarke (2006) en su artículo pionero. ...
... Strategies to regulate emotions and adapt training in training required using an open-ended method as suitable standardized scales do not exist. A recent study in running (Stanley et al., 2012), using an open-ended questionnaire illustrated the vast array of different strategies that people use. As the present study was interested in capturing unique participants perspectives, openended methods are suitable. ...
... The connection between using psychological skills and mood management represents a good starting point as there is a wealth of information available offering basic guidance on using psychological skills (Karageorghis and Terry, 2010) and previous research has shown that people can learn these online (Lane et al., 2016c). We suggest, therefore, that one option available to help mental health of boxers could be to promote the use of mental skills training, which as the results of the present show, many boxers use a version of psychological skills to help mood management (Lane et al., , 2016aStanley et al., 2012). Recent research has suggested that athletes and coaches should learn to use psychological skills, suggesting that such knowledge is analogous to knowing about good training habits, nutritional practice, and knowing these skills is helpful. ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented changes to daily life and in the first wave in the UK, it led to a societal shutdown including playing sport and concern was placed for the mental health of athletes. Identifying mood states experienced in lockdown and self-regulating strategies is useful for the development of interventions to help mood management. Whilst this can be done on a general level, examination of sport-specific effects and the experience of athletes and coaches can help develop interventions grounded in real world experiences. The present study investigated perceived differences in mood states of boxers before and during COVID-19 isolation in the first lockdown among boxers. Boxing is an individual and high-contact sport where training tends to form a key aspect of their identity. Boxers develop close relationships with their coach and boxing. Hence boxers were vulnerable to experiencing negative mood, and support via the coach was potentially unavailable. Participants were 58 experienced participants (44 boxers, male n = 33, female n = 11; 14 boxing coaches, male n = 11, female n = 3). Boxers completed the Brunel Mood Scale to assess mood before COVID-19 using a retrospective approach and during COVID-19 using a “right now” time frame. Boxers responded to open-ended questions to capture mood regulation strategies used. Coaches responded to open ended questions to capture how they helped regulate boxer’s mood. MANOVA results indicated a large significant increase in the intensity of unpleasant moods (anger, confusion, depression, fatigue, and tension) and reduction in vigor during COVID-19 (d = 0.93). Using Lane and Terry (2000) conceptual framework, results showed participants reporting depressed mood also reported an extremely negative mood profile as hypothesized. Qualitative data indicated that effective mood-regulation strategies used included maintaining close coach-athlete contact and helping create a sense of making progress in training. When seen collectively, findings illustrate that mood state responses to COVID-19 were severe. It is suggested that that active self-regulation and self-care should be a feature of training programmes to aid coaches and boxers in regulating mood when faced with severe situational changes.
... For example, athletes have been found to use a variety of emotion regulation strategies to deal with stressors and resultant emotions in sport (e.g. Stanley et al., 2012), and these strategies vary in their effectiveness for managing emotions (Balk et al., 2013). In addition, many sport psychology interventions focus on athletes' emotions and emotion regulation (Uphill et al., 2009), further illustrating the importance of emotions and the need for effective emotion regulation to achieve performance success. ...
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There has recently been a surge in sport psychology research examining various aspects of the interpersonal and social processes related to emotions and emotion regulation. The purpose of this study was to review the literature related to the interpersonal experience, expression, and regulation of emotions in sport, in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the studies that have been conducted to date. A scoping review of the literature (Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. [2009]. A typology of reviews: An analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 26(2), 91–108) using a systematic search process returned 7,769 entries that were screened for inclusion; the final sample of studies included in the review consisted of 79 relevant articles and 8 dissertations. The results describe the interconnected findings on athletes’ self-regulation of emotions in social contexts, interpersonal emotion regulation, collective emotions (group-based emotions, emotional contagion, and effervescence), emotional expressions, and individual and contextual moderators (e.g. personality, culture, norms, gender, roles, and situational/temporal aspects). We identify key issues to advance theory and research, including: the need for programmatic research to investigate these processes, their effects, and underlying mechanisms; greater theoretical and conceptual clarity; more research among diverse populations (e.g. female athletes, youth athletes); the need to consider interconnected emotional phenomena in future research; and the need for applied intervention research.
... (or "mental") factors, as such aspects are considered an integral part of the running experience (e.g., Cona et al., 2015;Stanley et al., 2012;Wiese-Bjornstal, 2019 The DISC-R Model presumes that the efforts that runners put into their sport are the most primary characteristic of running. However, it is important to note that demands have no inherent valence with regard to health outcomes, as it is not possible to judge whether they are 'good' or 'bad' without considering how they are being dealt with. ...
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This dissertation discusses whether specific psychological factors contribute to our ability to understand and optimize the health outcomes of running. It provides information on coping, psychological risk profiles, an app intervention, and a self-assessment tool to determine one's risk for adverse health outcomes as a runner.
... Stanley et al, 2012Gross, 1998a, p.275 Gross, 1998b Gross and John 2003 well-being 10km Wagstaff, 2014 Wagstaff 2014Balk et al. 2013 e.g., 2016 Joormann and Siemer, 2013 Martinent et al., 2015Martinent et al. 2015Lane et al., 2011Gross and John, 2003Lane et al., 2011 e.g., Wagstaff, 2014 Joormann andSiemer, 2013 e.g., Wagstaff, 2014 Emotion Regulation Questionnaire ERQ Gross and John, 2003 状況に対する 肯定的・希望的再評価 む 込 い 思 と る れ や だ ま は 分 自 , も で 況 状 な ん ど ) 中 合 試 ( む こ い 思 と る れ や だ ま セルフトーク シュートが立て続けに外れても "あれだけ練習し たから大丈夫" と言い聞かせた( ...
The purpose of this study was to develop the Emotion Regulation Strategies scales in Sports competition (ERSS), and to investigate the patterns of tendency to use emotion regulation strategies during games with the competition results. In Study 1, a total of 513 athletes were investigated using a preliminary scale, and through exploratory factor analysis, six factors (positive refocusing, self-blame, conversion of viewpoint, emotional suppression, problem-solving, and rumination) were extracted, and the ERSS was developed. In Study 2, a total of 327 athletes, who different from the subjects in Study 1, completed the ERSS to confirm its validity, together with its related scales. All the subscales correlated with their relevant subscales in the expected directions, and the test–retest reliability was .41–.71 (p < .01). In addition, we analyzed ERSS subscale scores with cluster analysis, and the participants were classified into four clusters. The first cluster consisted of athletes who were more likely to use all the emotion regulation strategies; the second cluster consisted of athletes who were less likely to use all the strategies; the third cluster consisted of athletes who were more likely to use positive refocusing; and the fourth cluster consisted of athletes who were more likely to use problem-solving and emotional suppression. We conducted a chi-square test to investigate the association between the clusters and the level of competition. While we found no significant differences in any of them, we did identify a marginally significant difference in the first cluster.
... In other domains of psychology, emotion regulation has received increased attention as an important feature of mental health (Preece et al., 2018). However, little is known about how athletes' attempts to regulate their emotions in sport is associated with their mental health as the focus of previous research has been on performance-related outcomes (Balk et al., 2013;Martinent et al., 2015;Stanley et al., 2012). Due to the dynamic nature of emotions in sport, this context presents an opportunity for the study of emotion (Ahead of Print) EMOTION REGULATION AND MENTAL HEALTH regulation and could subsequently advance our understanding of emotion regulation in other fields of psychology . ...
This study investigated the relationship between reappraisal and suppression with depression and mental well-being among university athletes. It was hypothesized reappraisal would associate with lower depression and greater mental well-being, whereas suppression would associate with greater depression and reduced mental well-being. Employing a cross-sectional design, 427 participants ( M age = 20.18, SD = 1.52; 188 males and 239 females) completed questionnaires assessing mental health and strategy use. Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed reappraisal was positively associated, and suppression negatively associated with mental well-being, Δ R ² = 4.8%, Δ F (2, 422) = 17.01, p ≤ .001; suppression, β = −0.08, p = .028; reappraisal, β = 0.21, p ≤ .001, but neither were associated with depression, Δ R ² = 0.4%, Δ F (2, 422) = 1.33, p = .267; suppression, β = 0.06, p = .114; reappraisal, β = 0.03, p = .525. Results highlight reappraisal as correlated with mental well-being in student-athletes, and therefore, reappraisal could be beneficial for managing stress in sport. Reappraisal may implicate how well-being is promoted through sport, but future experimental research is needed to confirm causal relationships.
... These findings indicate that athletes who used reappraisal or suppression as an emotion regulation strategy had a psychological competitive ability during competition games. (Martinent et al., 2015;Stanley et al., 2012). ...
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between emotion regulation strategies (reappraisal and expressive suppression) and psychological competitive ability during sports games. A total of 492 athletes completed the Japanese version of the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (EQR-J) and the Diagnostic Inventory of Psychological-Competitive Ability for Athletes (DIPCA.3). The DIPCA.3 was used to assess psychological competitive ability as the dependent variable, and multiple regression analysis was conducted to analyze the effects of reappraisal and expressive suppression on psychological competitive ability. The results indicated that reappraisal had a positive effect on all 5 factors of the DIPCA.3. The participants were also classified into 3 clusters: the first cluster comprised players who had a strong tendency to use reappraisal, the second cluster comprised players who had a strong tendency to use expressive suppression, and the third cluster comprised players who did not use either of the emotion regulation strategies. Subsequently, one-way analysis of variance was conducted with each cluster as an independent variable and the DIPCA.3 as the dependent variable. The players who had a weak tendency to use both reappraisal and suppression had the lowest scores for 4 of the 5 factors. These findings indicate that athletes who use reappraisal or suppression as an emotion regulation strategy have better psychological competitive ability during competitive games.
... The existing scientific literature describes the important influence of psychological variables, such as personality traits and mood state, self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation, stress and anxiety management and goal setting, on the success of endurance outcome (Raglin and Wilson, 2008;Stoeber et al., 2009;Stanley et al., 2012). Endurance athletes also require elevated levels of self-control, defined as one's "capacity to regulate attention, emotion, and behavior in the presence of temptation" (Duckworth and Seligman, 2017) and an attitude of "never giving up, " similar to grit, more than almost any other athletic effort (Moran, 2012). ...
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Endurance sports certainly require an important and delicate task of mental and physical reintegration from the impact of the fatigue induced by the exertion of the sport performance. The topic of the resilience of athletes has been the theme of numerous studies, however, there are few specific works on the psychological resilience of runners. Our study aimed to investigate Resilience in Endurance Runner related to the role of Self-Regulation Modes and Basic Psychological Needs. Especially, the aim of our work was presenting a model where the gratification of the Needs of Autonomy and Competence and the level of Locomotion were the predictors of the two main components of Richardson’s resilience: Homeostatic and Resilient Reintegration. The present study involved 750 endurance runners, members of the Fidal (Italian Athletics Federation). A SEM analysis was performed combining into one explanatory model the following variables: Autonomy and Competence Satisfaction, Self-Regulatory Locomotion Mode, Homeostatic and Resilient Reintegration. The model showed overall acceptable fit measurements: χ ² = 872.152; CFI = 0.966; TLI = 0.952; RMSEA = 0.058. Results indicated that BPNs and SRMs are predictors of the level of resilience in endurance running athletes. In particular, Resilient Reintegration was mainly affected by Locomotion Mode (β = 0.379 for p < 0.005), which in turn received a major influence from Autonomy Satisfaction (β = 0.574 for p < 0.001). Homeostatic Recovery was found to be affected by Competence Satisfaction (β = 0.489 for p < 0.001). The study pointed out the importance of supporting in endurance runners the gratification of the needs of Autonomy and Competence as key factors capable of enhancing perseverance, timely recovery and psychophysical balance.
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The present paper outlines the development of a sport-specific measure of precompetitive emotion to assess anger, anxiety, dejection, excitement, and happiness. Face, content, factorial, and concurrent validity were examined over four stages. Stage 1 had 264 athletes complete an open-ended questionnaire to identify emotions experienced in sport. The item pool was extended through the inclusion of additional items taken from the literature. In Stage 2 a total of 148 athletes verified the item pool while a separate sample of 49 athletes indicated the extent to which items were representative of the emotions anger, anxiety, dejection, excitement, and happiness. Stage 3 had 518 athletes complete a provisional Sport Emotion Questionnaire (SEQ) before competition. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that a 22-item and 5-factor structure provided acceptable model fit. Results from Stage 4 supported the criterion validity of the SEQ. The SEQ is proposed as a valid measure of precompetitive emotion for use in sport settings.
With 1001 entries ranging from brief statements to substantial essays on major topics, "The Oxford Companion to the Mind" takes the reader on a lively tour of this endlessly fascinating subject, spanning many questions and answers within the broad compass of philosophy, psychology, and the physiology of the brain. The entries are arranged alphabetically and linked by a network of helpful cross-references. The 200 illustrations have been carefully chosen to amplify the text, while specialist bibliographies provide suggestions for further reading. The whole work is served by a comprehensive index, making this a companion for instant reference as well as continuous reading. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Individual differences in emotionality and regulation are central to conceptions of temperament and personality. In this article, conceptions of emotionality and regulation and ways in which they predict social functioning are examined. Linear (including additive) and nonlinear effects are reviewed. In addition, data on mediational and moderational relations from a longitudinal study are presented. The effects of attention regulation on social functioning were mediated by resiliency, and this relation was moderated by negative emotionality at the first, but not second, assessment. Negative emotionality moderated the relation of behavior regulation to socially appropriate/prosocial behavior. These results highlight the importance of examining different types of regulation and the ways in which dispositional characteristics interact in predicting social outcomes.
This study examined strategies used to self-regulate mood dimensions assessed by the Profile of Mood States (McNair, Lorr, & Droppleman, 1971) in athletes. One hundred and seven athletes completed a 29-item mood regulation questionnaire (Thayer, Newman, & McClain, 1994) assessing strategies aimed at regulating anger, confusion, depression, fatigue, tension, and vigor. Results indicated that to 'change location', 'exercise', and 'listen to music' were strategies common to each mood dimension. Findings indicate that there were self-regulating strategies unique to certain mood dimensions; "try to be alone" for anger; "analyze the situation" for confusion; "engage in pleasant activities" for depression; and "use relaxation techniques" for tension. Vigor and fatigue shared the same self-regulating strategies although in different proportions. We propose that identification of strategies used to regulate mood lend support to the notion that mood can be controlled by the individual, and is not simply a reaction to external factors. It is suggested that there is a need for further research to investigate mood-regulating strategies used by athletes.
To examine the effectiveness of various affect regulation strategies and categories of affect regulation strategies, a meta-analysis was conducted. Results generally indicate that reappraisal (d=0.65) and distraction (d=0.46 for all studies; d=0.95 for studies with a negative or no affect induction) are the most effective regulation/repair strategies, producing the largest hedonic shift in affect. The effectiveness of different categories of regulation/repair strategies depended on the valence of the preceding affect induction. Results also indicate that stronger affect inductions and the use of bivariate affect measures will provide a richer understanding of affect regulation. Additionally, not all specific strategies or categories of strategies have been researched and the impact of individual differences on affect regulation has received relatively little attention. Finally, results indicate that control conditions in affect regulation research may not provide a valid point for comparison, as they facilitate effective affect repair.