Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Elijah Fleming 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

My name is Elijah Fleming and I am a final year student in Applied Psychology. I have really enjoyed my course and found many of the modules we covered throughout the 4 years of my studies in IADT incredibly interesting. I am excited to, hopefully, complete a Masters in clinical psychology abroad after I graduate in 2024. I would love to pursue a career in counselling or clinical psychology and specialise in working with children. Please feel free to contact me through email or LinkedIn if you have any thoughts or questions about my project.

Project Description

For my thesis, I investigated differences in competitive anxiety for rugby players, based on their training frequency and gender. Previously there has been a lack of research on the factors that affect competitive anxiety, and many studies have also been limited by unequal gender samples. I conducted a quantitative, between-groups, questionnaire-based study, collecting data from both male and female rugby players on their competitive anxiety. My participants' data was collected and statistically analysed using IBM SPSS software. The results were discussed and compared to previous research. Limitations of my study and advice for future researchers conducting similar studies were discussed also.

Project Objectives

While researchers have often studied competitive anxiety in athletes without considering training frequency, my thesis aimed to determine if there is a difference in rugby players’ competitive anxiety based on their training frequency and if there are gender differences in these results. While multiple studies recruited uneven male and female participant numbers, my thesis accounted for this by recruiting equal numbers. I hoped that my thesis could contribute to public awareness of male and female athletes' unique experiences in professional and amateur sport by revealing if any differences in athletes’ competitive anxiety existed, based upon their training frequency and gender.

Project Outcomes

My thesis aimed to contribute to the previous literature on competitive anxiety. The results were similar to those of Rosli et al. (2022) who indicated no significant gender differences for anxiety, with the exception of self-confidence. The present study also contradicted the findings of Shannon et al. (2023) who reported differences in competitive anxiety based on training frequency and gender. In the present study, a 2-way ANOVA established no significant differences for the rugby players sampled on their competitive anxiety, based on training frequency and gender. The implications of my study could be of interest to academic and rugby institutions investigating players' competitive anxiety and variables that may cause differences in it.

Thesis Title

'Investigating differences in competitive anxiety based on training frequency and gender'