Consistency of fear of failure score meanings among 8- to 18-year-old female athletes

David E. Conroy, J. Douglas Coatsworth, Miranda P. Kaye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Fear of failure (FF) energizes individuals to avoid failure because of the learned aversive consequences of failing (e.g., shame). Although FF is socialized in childhood, little is known about the meaning of scores from FF measures used with children and adolescents. This study addresses that void by establishing a preliminary nomological network for FF scores from a younger population than has previously been studied. Girls (N = 97) aged 8 to 18 years (M = 13.2) completed measures of FF, situational motivation, sport anxiety, self-esteem, physical self-concept, and social competence during the first week of a recreational softball league. Results indicated that FF scores were positively associated with age. General FF also was associated with higher levels of sport anxiety and lower levels of self-determined motivation, self-esteem, skill-related physical self-concept, and social competence. Age did not moderate any of these relationships; thus, aspects of the nomological network for interpreting FF scores from the Performance Failure Appraisal Inventory can be extended to children as young as age 8.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-310
Number of pages11
JournalEducational and Psychological Measurement
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Applied Mathematics


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