Determining coping effectiveness in sport: An examination of perceived immediate and long-term outcomes and the goodness-of-fit model

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Colleges, School and Institutes

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  • San Francisco State University


The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of the reported coping responses utilized by athletes based on two proposed models (Folkman, 1992; Lazarus & Folkman,1984); namely, the outcome model (which focused on immediate and long-term outcomes) and the goodness-of-fit model (i.e., the fit between situational appraisal and coping strategies employed). Three hundred and eighteen US and 404 Korean intercollegiate athletes provided information regarding the frequency of psychological difficulties experienced during important competitions, their perceived controllability over such difficulties, and reported coping strategies utilized. In terms of short-term outcomes, the perceived immediate effectiveness of each coping strategy employed was assessed. The athletes also reported the degree of which they were satisfied, enjoyed, and desired to continue in their sport as indices of long-term outcomes. The athletes reported that they felt both types of coping strategies (i.e., Active/Problem-Focused and Avoidance/Withdrawal) were very effective in managing their problems and/or mood at hand. However, only Active/Problem-Focused coping strategies were positively associated with all three long-term variables while Avoidance/Withdrawal coping strategies were negatively related with the measures of long-term effectiveness. Cognitive appraisal (i.e., perceived controllability) predicted more Active/Problem-Focused coping strategies while Avoidance/Withdrawal coping strategies were predicted by the frequency of the experience of psychological difficulties during competition for both cultural groups. Implications for theory refinement and future research directions are provided.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2000