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Investigating Psychological Stress In Elite Indian Performers Using The Theory Of Challenge And Threat States In Athletes

Janki, Rajapurkar Deole (2019) Investigating Psychological Stress In Elite Indian Performers Using The Theory Of Challenge And Threat States In Athletes. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

This program of research investigated psychological stress in a hitherto unexplored population of Indian sport performers, using the Theory of Challenge and Threat States in Athletes (TCTSA) as a theoretical framework. First, using thematic analysis, stress experiences of Indian elite athletes were explored and are presented in chapter two. This chapter presents one of the initial studies in sport psychology literature that reports the stressors of elite Indian athletes. The demands and resources of Indian elite athletes across various sports were found to be in line with the postulations as outlined by the TCTSA, however culturally specific demands and resources also emerged. Second, a cross-cultural study developed based on the cultural findings of chapter two. The study thus presented in chapter three, compared the stress responses of cricketers from India with cricketers from the UK. This is also the first study to consider cross-cultural responses to stress. Data were similar in the way elite athletes from both countries respond to stress. For example, Indian as well as UK cricketers perceived high self-efficacy, high perceptions of control, had an approach goal orientation and perceived to be in a challenge state before competition, thus supporting predictions made by the TCTSA. However, Indian cricketers seemed to experience higher emotions before competition. Social identity was measured and data illustrated that Indian cricketers did not identify with their teams as strongly as UK cricketers. Finally, the program of research provides a unique contribution to sport psychology literature by conducting intervention studies using single-case research designs to reduce threat and enhance a challenge state in Indian performers. No previous single-case research design studies have been found that manipulate challenge and threat states using interventions. The multimodal interventions presented in chapter five and six helped reduce the threat state and increased the challenge state of an elite Indian badminton player and an elite Indian squash player respectively. While in the final study that included the Indian tennis coaches presented in chapter seven, the researcher developed an innovative theoretically driven intervention that proved to be effective in helping the elite coaches appraise their stressors positively (i.e., as a challenge). This is also the first study that uses the TCTSA framework in the context of sports coaching. The program of research adds to the scant literature regarding the stress experiences of Indian performers. It also extends the limited literature regarding intervention strategies that may reduce threat and enhance a challenge state in performers. The thesis revealed that the TCTSA is a useful framework to understand stress experiences of athletes not only in the Western countries, but also in the Eastern part of the world. The thesis thus offers new knowledge to researchers and applied practitioners however is not without limitations. The limitations associated with the program of research are identified and directions for future researchers are recommended.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2023 12:18
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2023 12:18

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