Eys, M. A, Hardy, J., Carron, A. V., & Beauchamp, M. R. (2003). The relationship between task cohesion and competitive state anxiety. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 25, 66-76.

The purpose of this study was to determine how perceptions of team cohesion are related to the interpretations that athletes attach to precompetition cognitive and somatic anxiety. Ss (N = 392) were from soccer, rugby, and field-hockey. The Group Environment Questionnaire was completed after a practice session. The Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 was completed just before a competition.

Athletes who perceived cognitive anxiety as facilitative had higher perceptions of individual attractions to group tasks and group-integration toward the task (both measures of cohesion) than individuals who perceived cognitive anxiety as debilitative. Ss with high levels of somatic anxiety as facilitative had higher perceptions of group-integration toward the task.

Implication. The more positive an athlete’s perception of task cohesion, the more facilitative the interpretation of state anxiety symptoms. If athletes are taught to work cooperatively before and during competitions, anxiety is less likely to be a problem.

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