Examining the process of psychological resilience in sport: performance, cortisol, and emotional responses to stress and adversity in a field experimental setting

Stephen P. Gonzalez *, Maria Newton **, James Hannon ***, Timothy W. Smith ** and Nicole Detling ****

(*) The College at Brockport, State University of New York, USA
(**) The University of Utah, USA
(***) Kent State University, USA
(****) Private Practice

Resilience enables an individual to experience and overcome stressors. Research in sport has been retrospective on this important topic. The purpose of this study was to investigate hypothesized resilient responses by assessing resilient characteristics, inducing stress, and examine cortisol, affect, and performance.116 male and female athletes completed the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale 10-item (CDRISC- 10; Gucciardi, et al., 2011) to screen athletes as high or low in resilience. All participants gave baseline, prefailure, and postfailure measures of affect and cortisol and performance was assessed pre and post failure. Repeated measures ANOVAs examined participants’ responses from baseline to induced stress, and induced stress to post-failure. A significant group by time interaction for negative affect from baseline to induced stress occurred. No other significant interactions emerged. These results require further research to understand the complexity of individual responses to stressors and adversity.

Keywords: Collegiate athletics, Emotional response Failure, Physiological Stress, Protective factors