Exploring how stress mindset, irrational beliefs, and stress appraisals relate to psychological wellbeing and performance under pressure

Mansell, Paul ORCID: 0000-0002-3577-4474 (2023). Exploring how stress mindset, irrational beliefs, and stress appraisals relate to psychological wellbeing and performance under pressure. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The overarching aim of the present thesis was to explore how stress mindset, irrational beliefs, and stress appraisals related to psychological wellbeing and performance under pressure. To achieve this aim Chapter 2 first investigated how trait dispositions (i.e., stress mindset and irrational beliefs), stress appraisals, and psychological wellbeing were related. Path analysis was employed to examine the direct and indirect effects of these relationships using cross-sectional data from over 400 athletes from a variety of sports across a range of competitive levels. Chapter 3 then assessed whether the relationship between stress mindset and stress appraisal tendencies identified in Chapter 2 was mediated by proactive coping. By using a mixture of athletes and non-athletes, a secondary aim of Chapter 3 was to investigate whether there were any differences in stress mindset between these samples.

Following on from the identified associations in the first two chapters, an experimental design was employed in Chapter 4 that aimed to examine whether an individual's stress mindset could be altered using a stress mindset and imagery intervention. Additionally, the study investigated whether any changes in stress mindset were accompanied by higher levels of self-confidence, a greater challenge appraisal, lower threat appraisal, more facilitative anxiety, and better performance of a competitive golf putting task.

This thesis makes a novel contribution to the area of psychological wellbeing and performing under pressure by offering cross-sectional and experimental data that extends the evidence highlighting the importance of stress mindset and stress appraisals relating to psychological wellbeing. In Chapter 2, this thesis also contains the first-known study that has measured stress mindset of athletes and compared this to non-athletes. Alongside the findings in Chapter 3, these results highlight the role that stress mindset may have in influencing stress appraisals and psychological wellbeing, and the mechanisms as to how this may happen. Furthermore, the conceptualisation of stress mindset under the umbrella of REBT offers a novel perspective as to how negative beliefs about stress could be challenged.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Law
School or Department: School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/13727


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