Relationships between heart rate variability and competitive trait anxiety
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Despite current interest in the arca, ít remains unclear whether there are any relationships between self-ratings of trait anxiety and certain components of heart rate variability (HRV). Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to investigate these potential relationships in a clinical setting. The participants (z : 40) were healtþ team sport athletes of a county or regional standard, who were selected from the various sport courses offered by the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (U.W.I.C.). Each participant attended a single session in a private laboratory, where individual resting HRV datasets were recorded via Electrocardiograms (ECG's), before being decomposed into low frequency (LF; 0.05 - 0.15 Hz) and high frequency (HF; 0.15 - 0.5 Hz) components by means of spectral analysis. Total spectral power and average heart rate were also calculated. In addition, self-ratings of competitive trait anxiety were assessed through the administration of the Sport Anxiety Scale (SAS), which measures separate components of the anxiety response including somatic anxiety, wolry and concentration disruption. Indices of HRV were entered into separate multiple linear regression models in a hierarchical method to determine their independent effects on each of the anxiety ratings from the SAS. Results showed that none of the HRV measures had any associations with any of the trait anxiety ratings, as measured by the SAS. It was concluded that an individual's disposition to experience anxiety in relation to upcoming sport performance is not affected by their degree of HRV and conesponding level of autonomic activation at rest. However, due to substantial evidence to the contrary within the literature, future research is clearly needed in this area.
BSc (Hons) Sport, PE and Recreation
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