Characteristics of Psychological Stress Processes and Collective Efficacy in Response to Athlete-Athlete Relationship Stressors in Youth Soccer Players

Takayuki Natsuhara, Yudai Ichikawa and Masao Nakayama

[Received May 28, 2021; Accepted January 17, 2022] 

Interpersonal relationships are one of the stressors in sports activities and are considered to be a psychological variable that affects collective efficacy (CE). However, few previous studies on CE in team sports have examined the effect of the stressor of relationships with teammates on CE. The present study examined the differences in psychological stress processes in response to stressors of relationships with teammates and their relationships with CE in young soccer players from the perspective of competition level. High-level youth soccer players (HL) and low-level youth soccer players (LL) were asked to respond to each of the following five scales: CE, athlete-athlete relationship stressor, cognitive appraisal, coping, and stress response. In psychological stress process, based on competition level differences, the HL group showed significantly higher scores on CE and athlete-athlete relationship stressor compared to the LL group. Furthermore, HL also scored significantly higher on challenge and controllability in cognitive appraisal, problem-solving and positive thinking in coping as compared to LL. On the other hand, LL scored significantly higher on avoidance of coping and on helplessness in stress response. Thus, the results suggest that athleteathlete relationship stressor does not necessarily have a negative effect on CE and that perceptions and behaviours toward stressors by differences of the competition level.

Keywords: youth soccer player, athlete-athlete relationship stressors, psychological stress processes, collective efficacy, stress management

[Football Science Vol.19, 28-37, 2022]