The Effects of Anticipatory Stress on Pain Responses in Male and Female Athletes

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The Effects of Anticipatory Stress on Pain Responses in Male and Female Athletes

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Title: The Effects of Anticipatory Stress on Pain Responses in Male and Female Athletes
Author: Nagle, Sarah
Advisor: Sternberg, Wendy
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Psychology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 245089 bytes
Issue Date: 2006
Abstract: Athletic competition elicits a stress response that is both physical and psychological in nature. Additionally, following athletic competition, an increase in pain threshold (analgesia) has been observed. However, the mechanisms that produce analgesia due to athletic competition have not been systematically investigated. The present study sought to determine if the psychological stress in anticipation of an athletic competition is alone able to induce an analgesic state by evaluating sympathetic nervous system measures (heart rate, blood pressure), cortisol levels, self-rated anxiety scores, and pain thresholds in male and females soccer players and in female basketball players prior to a game and a practice, and on a non-competitive day. The results suggest that there is an increase in pain threshold (analgesia) in anticipation of both an athletic contest and a team practice session and that this increase may be associated with increases in cortisol levels, sympathetic nervous system measures, and self-rated measures of anxiety. Future research on coaching styles, winning expectancies, and the social context surrounding the competition would help clarify the present findings.
Subject: Pain -- Psychological aspects
Subject: Analgesia -- Psychological aspects
Subject: Stress (Psychology) -- Physiological aspects
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/1091

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Citation

Nagle, Sarah. "The Effects of Anticipatory Stress on Pain Responses in Male and Female Athletes". 2006. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/1091.

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