Ibero-American Journal of Exercise and Sports Psychology

FEAR OF FAILURE IN ATHLETES: GENDER, AGE AND TYPE OF SPORT DIFFERENCES

Abstract

Marco Correia, António Rosado, Sidónio Serpa & Vítor Ferreira

Fear of failure has been related to several maladaptive consequences on athletes, such as burnout, drop-out, and high levels of worry, stress and anxiety. This study aimed to discover the effects of fear of failure in sport contexts. An application of structural equation modeling was made, with 405 Portuguese athletes. A multigroup confirmatory factor analysis was conducted and significant differences were detected. Female athletes presented more fear of shame and embarrassment, fear of devaluating one’s self estimate, and less fear of having an uncertain future, than male athletes. Fear of upsetting important others and fear of important others losing interest are more prevalent in team sports. Adolescent athletes presented more fear of important others losing interest than preadolescents. The results of this research provided evidence that fear of failure is appraised differently by athletes, concerning their gender, type of sport, and age.

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