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Precompetitive achievement goals, stress appraisals, emotions, and coping among athletes

Nicholls, Adam R.; Perry, John L.; Calmeiro, Luis


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Professor Adam Nicholls
Professor of Psychology/ Leader of the Sport Psychology and Coaching Group

John L. Perry

Luis Calmeiro


Grounded in Lazarus’ (1991, 1999, 2000) Cognitive-Motivational-Relational theory of emotions, we tested a model of achievement goals, stress appraisals, emotions, and coping. We predicted that pre-competitive achievement goals would be associated with appraisals; appraisals with emotions; and emotions with coping in our model. The mediating effects of emotions among the overall sample of 827 athletes and two stratified random sub-samples were also explored. The results of this study support our proposed model in the overall sample and the stratified sub-samples. Further, emotion mediated the relationship between appraisal and coping. Mediation analyses revealed that there were indirect effects of pleasant and unpleasant emotions, which indicates the importance of examining multiple emotions to reveal a more accurate representation of the overall stress process. Our findings indicate that both appraisals and emotions are just as important in shaping coping.


Nicholls, A. R., Perry, J. L., & Calmeiro, L. (2014). Precompetitive achievement goals, stress appraisals, emotions, and coping among athletes. Journal of sport & exercise psychology, 36(5), 433-445.

Publication Date 2014-10
Deposit Date May 26, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 26, 2015
Journal Journal of sport and exercise psychology
Print ISSN 0895-2779
Electronic ISSN 1543-2904
Publisher Human Kinetics
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Issue 5
Pages 433-445
Keywords Achievement goals; Challenge; Coping; Stress appraisals; Threat; Structural equation modelling
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Additional Information Author's accepted manuscript of article published in: Journal of sport and exercise psychology, 2014, v.36, issue 5 at


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