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Religious Belief vs. Religious Practice. What is More Beneficial to Elite Athletes? An Investigation of Religious/Spiritual Belief, and its Relationship to Challenge & Threat Appraisal
Religiosity/spirituality has been linked with reduced anxiety in athlete populations. This study set out to assess the impact of religious/spiritual belief, opposed to practice, to see whether it too would predict anxiety, as well as feelings of control and cognitive appraisal in elite athletes (N = 115). Self-reported self-efficacy, control, achievement goals, life satisfaction, trait anxiety and strength of belief in a higher power (SBHP) were measured and analysed with simple linear regressions and multiple regressions (with challenge and threat appraisals as the dependent variables). The models predicting both challenge and threat appraisal were found to be significant, although SBHP was not a significant predictor, nor was it significantly predicative of any of the variables, or significantly correlated with them. The contribution of religious/spiritual belief to psychological benefits is compared to religious/spiritual practice and discussed alongside implications for future research and applied practice.

sport, psychology, religion, spirituality, belief, anxiety, challenge, threat, appraisal

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