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A test of the cognitive and affective components of challenge and threat states

Meijen, Carla (2010) A test of the cognitive and affective components of challenge and threat states. In: BPS Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology Conference 2010, 9-10 Dec 2010, London, UK. (KAR id:58553)



This study examined the relationship between the cognitive and affective components of the theory of challenge and threat states in athletes (TCTSA). It was expected that cognitive components, specifically self-efficacy, perceived control, and achievement goals, predict challenge and threat appraisals and emotional states, as well as the interpretation of emotional state.


A cross-sectional design was employed to measure self-efficacy, perceived control, achievement goals, emotional state, interpretation of emotional state, and challenge and threat cognitive appraisal in relation to how participants typically approach an important competition.


177 collegiate athletes completed questionnaires measuring the cognitive and affective components of challenge and threat states.


A regression analysis was performed to examine if cognitive elements predicted challenge and threat appraisals and emotions. Threat appraisal was predicted by avoidance goals and emotions were predicted by cognitive components. There was a negative association between anxiety and self-efficacy and a positive association between anxiety and avoidance goals. Also, differences between challenge and threat appraisal patterns (high challenge/high threat, high challenge/low threat, low challenge/high threat, low challenge/low threat) were analysed. Participants with a high challenge and low threat appraisals pattern scored higher on self-efficacy and lower on avoidance goals and anxiety than other challenge/threat patterns.


The results provide support for the TCTSA. What athletes think, based on their cognitive components, influences the emotions they experience, and their approaches to competition.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure > Sports sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: C. Meijen
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2016 09:54 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:23 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Meijen, Carla.

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