Competitive Task Anxiety in Non-Competitive Individuals.
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Gender and competitive task orientation was examined among non-competitive individuals. The sample consisted of 24 (12 male and 12 female; M=21.1 years old) non-athlete college students. Resting heart rate (HR) was recorded, a sport perception questionnaire was administered and participants engaged in either a competitive or non-competitive oriented task for 15 min. during which their HR was recorded 3 times as a measure of somatic anxiety. A significant difference in change in HR over time between the sexes was found as well as a significant change in HR during the course of the task across sex regardless of experimental condition. Although no significant interaction between HR and experimental condition was found, a significant trend toward a 3-way interaction between change in HR over time, sex and experimental condition was discovered. These results contradict previous findings of the relation of sex, competitive orientation and task orientation and warrant further analysis. The implication for this research is to identify individuals likely to experience high somatic anxiety and employ target intervention to promote continued sport participation and healthy lifestyle habits.