Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD, Director; Edward F. DeRoche, PhD; Dennis Selder, PhD


Anxiety, competition, elite athletes, gender, higher education, men, mental health, performance process, sports, University of Regina (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada), women


The pressure and anxiety of performing well will increase as the importance of winning continues to be stressed in competitive sports. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anxiety-performance relationship in an applied, field-tested manner by examining the relationship between competitive state anxiety and the incidence of mental errors committed under various levels of competition. Male and female elite athletes of the men's and women's basketball teams from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina (Saskatchewan, Canada) made up the subject population for this study. The study utilized the Sport Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT, Martens, 1977) to measure trait anxiety (Trait-A), and the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2, Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump & Smith, 1983) to assess the multidimensional nature of state anxiety (State-A). A Mental Error Questionnaire was developed by the researcher in collaboration with the participating teams' coaching staffs to evaluate the commission of mental errors. Independent variables consisted of gender, and competition, while commission of mental errors and dimensions of state anxiety served as the dependent variables. Seven primary hypotheses were tested using one-way ANOVAs, correlation and multiple regression analyses, while two secondary hypotheses were tested using two-way ANOVAs to determine interaction effects. Findings of the study included: (1) low to moderate correlations for SCAT's ability to predict state anxiety dimensions (as measured by the CSAI-2); (2) no significant differences between the dimensions of anxiety or gender and the commission of mental errors; (3) a significant difference between gender and anxiety for the cognitive anxiety dimension; (4) a significant difference between the commission of mental errors and cognitive and somatic anxiety dimensions; (5) a significant difference between the level of competition and somatic anxiety for the practice condition; (6) no significant difference between the level of competition and the commission of mental errors; (7) significant predictor variables (cognitive anxiety and self-confidence) for mental errors on competition, and (8) no significant interaction effects between levels of competition and gender with respect to dimensions of anxiety or the commission of mental errors. Therefore, it was concluded that neither gender nor the level of competition appear to have a significant impact on the dependent variables.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access