Re-appraising stress appraisals: The underlying properties of stress in sport

Joanne Thatcher, Melissa Catherine Day

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    54 Citations (SciVal)


    Objectives: The purpose of this study is to investigate the underlying properties of athletes’ stressful appraisals. According to Lazarus and Folkman [(1984). Stress, appraisal and coping. New York: Springer] all meaningful situations that are appraised as stressful will include one of eight properties. These properties are: novelty, predictability, event uncertainty, imminence, duration, temporal uncertainty, ambiguity and timing in relation to the life cycle.

    Design: This study aimed to examine whether these underlying properties are relevant to the sporting context and if any further properties exist within this context using a qualitative interview approach.

    Methods: Sixteen national level trampolinists took part in interviews which focused on their most stressful competitive experience.

    Results: Following deductive content analysis all properties were found to have relevance to a sporting domain. Two further properties of Self and Other Comparison and Inadequate Preparation were also revealed which were proposed to be specific to a sporting context.

    Conclusions: Suggestions are made concerning future research to extend this line of inquiry and our understanding of stress appraisals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)318-335
    Number of pages18
    JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
    Issue number3
    Early online date24 Apr 2007
    Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2008


    • trampolinists
    • qualitative
    • appraisal
    • stress


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