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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
ORIGINAL ARTICLES SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2013 June;53(3):274-82
Insecure attachment and anxiety in student athletes
Han D. H. 1, Kim S. M. 1, Zaichkowsky L. 2 ✉
1 Department of Psychiatry, Chung‑Ang University Medical School , Seoul, South Korea;
2 Department of Education Graduate Medical Science and Psychiatry Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
Aim: The main purpose of our research was to examine attachment type and competition anxiety in high school student athletes and general high school students.
Methods: We recruited 465 student athletes and 543 general students to participate in our study. The Revised Korean version of the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (K-ECRS) and the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) were given to all students.
Results: In χ2 tests, athletes showed attachment types in the following order of prevalence: fearful, dismissive, and preoccupied, compared to the fearful, preoccupied, and dismissive order observed in general students. In parametric, independent t-tests, athletes reported significantly higher cognitive anxiety scores, relative to general students. Further, athletes with insecure attachment compared to those with secure attachment reported higher cognitive anxiety scores and self-confidence scores. In both the athletes with insecure attachment and general students with insecure attachment groups, the K-ECRS anxiety subscale was significantly correlated with CSAI-2 total score. In post hoc analysis in the athletes with insecure attachment group, the K-ECRS anxiety subscale was also significantly correlated with the CSAI-2 cognitive anxiety subscale.
Conclusion: These results suggest that anxious athletes with an insecure attachment style tend to exaggerate threats from both external and internal sources, which negatively affect their performances.