Anxiety, Self-Esteem and Coping With Stress in Secondary School Students in Relation to Involvement in Organized Sports / Anksioznost, Samospoštovanje In Spoprijemanje S Stresom Pri Srednješolcih V Povezavi Z Vključenostjo V Organizirano Športno Aktivnost

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Aim. The objective of the study was to examine self-esteem, anxiety level and coping strategies among secondary school students in relation to their involvement in organized sports.

Methods. The sample included 280 Slovenian male and female secondary school students aged between 15 and 19 years. The participants completed The Adolescent Coping Scale, the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the PSDQ Selfesteem Scale.

Results. Participants engaged in organized sports exhibited higher self-esteem scores and lower anxiety scores in comparison to non-sport participants. Differences between the two groups have also been identified with respect to the use of certain coping strategies. Sport participants reported more productive coping than non-sport participants, which represents an active and problem-focused approach to dealing with everyday problems. Gender differences in the referred variables have also been studied, with female athletes exhibiting higher levels of anxiety than male athletes. Female participants were also found to use more non-productive coping than males, focused mainly on reducing emotional effects of stress.

Conclusions. Organized youth sports have an important role in improving and maintaining a favorable sense of self-worth, reducing anxiety, and promoting productive coping strategies in adolescents when dealing with everyday problems.

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