Sports Special Issue Research article
MOOD AND PERFORMANCE IN YOUNG MALAYSIAN KARATEKA
1National Sports Institute of Malaysia and 2Science University of Malaysia,
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2006) 5 (CSSI), 54
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an attempt to test the conceptual model by Lane and Terry, the purposes
of this study were 1) to assess mood states in non-depressed and depressed
young karate athletes; 2) to assess mood states in relation to performance
in young karate athletes. The participants were recruited from the
2004 Malaysian Games (72 males, 19.20 ± 1.16 years; 37 females,
18.78 ± 0.88 years). The athletes were divided into winners
(medalists) and losers. The Brunel Mood Scale (BRUMS) was administered
prior to the start of competition. MANOVA was employed to treat the
data, while Pearson correlations were calculated for mood states in
each depressed mood group and by gender. In terms of non-depressed
and depressed mood, tension in the females was higher in the depressed
group (5.61 ± 3.02 vs. 3.11 ± 1.90, p = 0.026, eta2
= 0.133), as was fatigue (3.64 ± 2.61 vs. 0.89 ± 1.69,
p = 0.006, eta2 = 0.199). Tension in the males was higher in the depressed
group (4.41 ± 2.52 vs. 1.50 ± 1.55, p < 0.001, eta2
= 0.215), as was anger (1.43 ± 1.88 vs. 0.25 ± 1.00,
p = 0.019, eta2 = 0.076). The highest associations among mood subscales
were between anger and depression (r = 0.57), and between depression
and fatigue ( r = 0.55) in depressed males. The female winning karateka
scored higher on anger (3.08 ± 2.96 vs. 1.29 ± 2.24,
p = 0.046, eta2 = 0.109). The highest correlations between mood dimensions
in depressed females were between depression and anger (r = 0.85)
and between depression and confusion (r = 0.85). Contrary to previous
research on the influence of depression on anger, only the female
winners scored higher on anger. Several negative mood dimensions were
higher in both male and female depressed groups, lending some support
to the conceptual model advanced by Lane and Terry.
WORDS: Karate, mood, performance, Malaysian, martial arts.
|Interest from a psychological perspective in martial arts in general,
and karate in particular, has grown since the early publications on
personality of martial arts athletes and karate practitioners in the
1960's and 1970's (e.g., Duthie et al., 1978;
Kroll and Carlson, 1967;
Kroll and Crenshaw, 1970).
More recent research was concerned with attributions of control and
vulnerability in karate (Madden, 1990),
self-esteem (Richman and Rehberg, 1986)
and anxiety (e.g., Layton, 2000;
Williams and Elliott, 1999).
In line with similar research in other sports (e.g., Fazackerley et
Prapavessis et al., 1992),
researchers have also sought to develop models to predict performance
in martial arts from a psychological point of view. For instance,
Chapman et al., 1997
found that winning male college taekwondo athletes showed higher self-confidence
and lower cognitive and somatic anxiety than their losing counterparts.
McGowan and Miller, 1989
compared karate semifinalists in fighting and forms with those placed
lower using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) (McNair et al., 1971)
and found no significant differences in any of the mood subscales
of Tension, Depression, Anger, Vigor, Fatigue and Confusion. When
year-long competitions were taken into account, however, the successful
competitors scored higher on anger. The authors hypothesized that
the successful athletes used angry imagery to "psych' themselves
up for competition. In a follow-up study, McGowan et al., 1992
reported first degree black belts to score higher on anger compared
to higher ranked colleagues. The investigators suggested that higher
ranked black belts may be more self-confident, so they may not need
to use anger as a coping mechanism.
Winning male karate athletes (karateka) reported higher levels of
vigor and anger, while scoring lower on tension, depression, fatigue
and confusion (Terry and Slade, 1995).
Based on pre-competition mood, the authors were able to correctly
classify 91.96% as winners or losers. To enhance the homogeneity of
the sample, the subjects consisted of male brown and black belts.
In addition, karate performance was considered of relatively short
duration and, as an individual sport, no group influences would affect
the outcome of the bouts.
suggested that the effectiveness of mood in predicting performance
would depend on the type and duration of the sport, the relative homogeneity
of the participants' skill and the performance marker. Lane and Terry,
extended this proposition by hypothesizing that the association between
mood subscales and their relationship with performance was mediated
by depression. To test this model, Lane et al., 1999
investigated male kickboxers and found tension and anger to be related
to losing in the depressed group, while this was not the case in the
non-depressed kickboxers. Similar to the study by Terry and Slade,
homogeneity was facilitated by including only men from an individual,
A further test of the conceptual model by Lane and Terry, 2000
was recently reported by Pieter, 2006,
who showed that even though anger and fatigue were higher in Caucasian
male aikidoka exhibiting depressed mood, the differences were not
statistically significant anymore after applying a Bonferroni correction.
However, had the sample size of 45 men been larger, the effect sizes
of 0.72 (anger) and 0.74 (fatigue) would have been statistically significant.
The depressed mood males reported a higher association between tension
and confusion (r = 0.91) than those in the non- depressed group (r
= 0.55). No other relationships among mood dimensions were found in
the depressed mood group.
Research on mood and performance in martial arts has focused on adult
Caucasian subjects (Lane et al., 1999;
McGowan and Miller, 1989;
McGowan et al., 1990;
Terry and Slade, 1995).
Few studies have used Asians martial arts athletes (e.g., Ampongan
and Pieter, 2005;
Pieter et al., 2000).
Asian athletes may respond more openly about their feelings than their
Western counterparts who might wish to convey the image of being confident
competitors (Andrew Lane, personal communication, August 15-19, 2005).
In addition, the mood-performance relationship may be different in
females, as was found in the state anxiety-performance association
(e.g., Ampongan and Pieter, 2005).
Pieter et al., 2000
reported that in male Filipino varsity taekwondo athletes, 78.6% were
correctly classified as winners and 66.7% as losers, but this was
not significant. Depression (r = 0.72) and fatigue (r = 0. 77) were
most influential in distinguishing between winners and losers. In
the women, 80% were correctly classified as winners and 73.9% as losers,
but this was also not significant. None of the mood predictors was
significantly related to the discriminant function in the females.
The small sample sizes for both the men and the women (n = 38 for
each) may have contributed to the findings.
In a follow-up study, Pieter et al., 2006
found that in 15-year old Filipino boys, 55.6% were correctly classified
as winners and 64.9% as losers. Taekwondo experience (r = 0.71) and
anger (r = 0.67) were most influential in distinguishing between winners
and losers. In the girls (14 years), 60.0% were correctly classified
as winners and 78.7% as losers. Competition experience (r = 0.86)
and anger (r = 0.44) were most influential in distinguishing between
winners and losers. A possible explanation for the difference between
this study (Pieter et al., 2006)
and the one on varsity athletes (Pieter et al., 2000)
may be the larger sample size in the former: 123 boys and 88 girls.
It is also suggested that the mood-performance relationship might
be different in children compared to their adult counterparts.
For instance, Ampongan and Pieter, 2004
took into account the level of depression when investigating the relationship
between mood and taekwondo performance in 13-year old Filipino children.
Only 3 boys and 2 girls out of 45 child athletes reported no score
for the depression subscale, so the analysis was done comparing winners
and losers on mood states in the depressed group only. Although 70%
in the boys and 65.0% in the girls could be classified as winners
or losers, this was not statistically significant, which may have
been due to the small sample size (a total of 23 boys and 22 girls).
Statistically significant relationships were found between depression
and tension (r = 0.67) and depression and vigor (r = -0. 61) in the
losing boys. In the girl losers, there were correlations between depression
and tension (r = 0.81) and depression and confusion (r = 0.74). It
is suggested that Filipino children may report depression more freely
than western counterparts, or that there are research conditions that
influence how depressed mood is reported that are not being considered
by the methods used in this. Both arguments could be used to explain
the higher incidence of depressed mood in this sample (Andrew Lane,
personal communication, August 15-19, 2005).
Lane and Terry, 2000,
among other things, suggested that those exhibiting some symptoms
of depression will score high on tension, anger, fatigue and confusion,
while scoring low on vigor. The authors put forward that depressed
mood is likely to activate anger and confusion, to increase fatigue
as well as to increase the associations between negative mood dimensions.
To date, no information about the relationship between mood and martial
arts performance exists in Malaysian athletes. To test the conceptual
model proposed by Lane and Terry, 2000,
the purposes of this study, therefore, were threefold: 1) to assess
whether anger, tension, fatigue and confusion were higher, and vigor
lower, in young Malaysian karate athletes experiencing some symptoms
of depressed mood compared to those who did not; 2) to assess whether
the interrelationships among anger, tension, vigor, fatigue and confusion
were stronger in young Malaysian karate athletes experiencing some
symptoms of depressed mood; and 3) to assess whether vigor was facilitative
and fatigue and confusion debilitative of performance regardless of
depressed mood in young Malaysian karate athletes. However, it is
realized that the distinction made by Lane and Terry, 2000
between no-depression and exhibiting some symptoms of depressed mood
might not be appropriate for the current sample, similar to what was
alluded to above regarding the Filipino young and adult taekwondo
(72 males, 19.20 ± 1.16 years; 37 females, 18.78 ±
0.88 years) were recruited from the 2004 Malaysian Games. Informed
consent/assent was obtained from all competitors prior to testing.
The Brunel Mood Scale (BRUMS) (Terry et al., 1999)
was administered 1 hour before competition. The BRUMS is a 24-item
questionnaire consisting of six subscales: Tension, Depression,
Anger, Vigor, Fatigue and Confusion. The karateka ranked each descriptor
on a 5-point Likert-type scale, ranging from 0 = "not at all"
to 4 = "extremely", using the "How are you feeling
right now?" format.
To assess whether anger, tension, fatigue and confusion were higher
and vigor lower in young Malaysian karate athletes experiencing
depressed mood compared to those who did not, analyses were carried
out within gender: a 1-way MANOVA for the males and 1-way ANOVA
with a Bonferroni correction for the female athletes.
To assess whether the interrelationships among anger, tension, vigor,
fatigue and confusion were stronger in young Malaysian karate athletes
experiencing depressed mood a Pearson correlation within gender
was used with a Bonferroni-adjusted alpha.
To assess whether vigor was facilitative and fatigue and confusion
debilitative of performance regardless of depressed mood in young
Malaysian karate athletes within gender, a 1-way MANOVA was employed
for the males, while a 1-way ANOVA with a Bonferroni correction
was used for the female karateka. The competitors were divided into
winners (those placing first, second and third) and losers (those
who did not place; see e.g., Terry and Slade, 1995).
Normality was assessed with the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. For non-normal,
skewed and/or kurtotic distributions, the L statistic (e.g., Thomas
et al., 1999) was utilized to analyze the data. The level of significance
for the MANOVA's was set at 0.05.
versus non-depressed mood
Table 1 shows the descriptive
data for depressed and non-depressed mood in female karateka. Tension
in the females was higher in the depressed group (p = 0.026, eta2
= 0.133), as was fatigue (p = 0.006, eta2 = 0.199) and confusion
(p = 0.043, eta2 = 0.112). Table
2 displays the interrelationships among mood dimensions in the
depressed group. In the non-depressed female karateka, no associations
3 depicts the descriptive data for depressed and non-depressed
mood in male karateka. Tension was higher in the depressed group
(Wilks' lambda = 0.823, F6,65 = 2.331, multivariate p
= 0.042, multivariate eta2 = 0.177, univariate p <
0.001, eta2 = 0.215), as was anger (eta2 =
0.076), fatigue (p = 0.050, eta2 = 0.054) and confusion
(p = 0.020, eta2 = 0.075). Table
4 shows the interrelationships among moods in the depressed
group. In the non-depressed male karateka, no associations were
Tables 5 (females) and 6
(males) depict the descriptive statistics of mood by performance.
The female winning karateka scored higher on anger (p = 0.046, eta2
= 0.109). No differences were found between winning and losing male
suggested by Lane's and Terry's (2000)
conceptual model, anger, confusion, fatigue and tension are higher
and vigor lower in depressed mood athletes. In the current study,
confusion, fatigue and tension were higher in the female depressed
mood athletes but there were no differences in anger and vigor,
thereby partially confirming the model. A possible explanation may
be cultural differences, as alluded to above, with regard to the
Malaysians being more open in reporting depression.
recent investigation of 13-year old male and female Filipino taekwondo
athletes revealed associations between depression and tension and
an inverse relationship between depression and vigor in the losing
boys, while significant correlations were found between depression,
tension, and confusion in losing females (Ampongan and Pieter, 2004).
Among individuals who reported depressed mood, depression was highly
related to fatigue (r = 0.91) and confusion (r = 0.86) in the winning
boys, but only with tension in the winning girls (r = 0.74). However,
anger was not used as a 'psyching' technique: there were no differences
in anger among groups (Ampongan and Pieter, 2004).
Anger might not be related to performance until martial arts athletes
was suggested to psych up karate athletes for competition (e.g.,
Lane et al., 1999;
McGowan & Miller, 1989;
McGowan et al., 1992).
Previous research seemed to indicate that anger may have been used
to augment self-confidence (McGowan and Miller, 1989),
while anger may also have been utilized to cope with increasing
tension in experienced karateka (McGowan et al., 1990).
On the other hand, McGowan et al., 1992
also suggested that less experienced female karateka may employ
anger as a coping mechanism.
Research on Filipino taekwondo athletes seems to point to the importance
of self- confidence in females, in that it accounted for 53% of
the variance in pre-competition somatic state anxiety (Ampongan
and Pieter, 2005).
It may very well be, then, that anger in the female winners was
indeed used to enhance self- confidence as proposed by McGowan and
and supported by Terry and Slade, 1995,
who found male winning karateka to score higher on pre-competition
anger as well as self-confidence. If karateka experience success
using anger as a coping mechanism, they may decide to continue "psyching"
themselves by employing angry imagery (McGowan et al., 1992).
McGowan et al., 1990
reported that successful karateka exhibited high tension and/or
fatigue prior to competition, which may be a result of pre-competition
restlessness, while high fatigue may be a result of rising tension
as competition nears.
High anger in the female winners was accompanied by high depression,
but not significantly. Although not statistically significant, male
winners scored low on anger, but high on tension. This is contrary
to the high anger-high tension relationship advanced by McGowan
et al., 1990
for experienced karateka. Based on the results of this study, it
is suggested that relationships among mood dimensions may depend
on whether the sample is compared to athletes or non-athletes in
addition to the effect of depression on these moods.
Future research should routinely assess various components of the
conceptual model advanced by Lane and Terry, 2000.
Inclusion of female athletes for comparative purposes is encouraged,
especially those from Asian populations. Different skill levels
and athletes from various age groups should also be studied. For
instance, Terry and Slade, 1995
suggested mood to be more strongly related to performance in karate
among those more homogeneous in skill, while Ampongan and Pieter,
seemed to indicate that age might be involved in the model.
Contrary to previous research on the influence of depression on
anger, only the female winners scored higher on anger. Several negative
mood dimensions were higher in both male and female depressed groups,
lending some support to the conceptual model advanced by Lane and
This study was supported by a grant from the National Sports Institute
of Malaysia/National Sports Council of Malaysia (WP and JST, principal
investigators). Gratitude is extended to Erik Tan Chek Hiong, Wan
Noorasrizal Mohd Nor, Mohd Fajar Kassim, Sharifah Amilia, Mohd Roesdi,
June Chin Lee Chuen, Kang Fong Ling, Zuraifah Abd Rahim, Wan Zairatulnas,
and Inu Wedeya for assistance during data collection. Thanks to
all athletes, coaches and managers for their collaboration. We are
also grateful to the reviewers for their very helpful comments and
date, there is no information about the relationship between mood
and martial arts performance in Malaysian athletes.
might be cultural differences in the way Malaysian athletes respond
to psychological questionnaires.
mood-performance and depressed mood-non-depressed mood relationships
might be mediated by age.
S. K. WONG
Psychology Officer, Sports Psychology Unit, National Sports
Institute of Malaysia, National Sports Council of Malaysia,
Bukit Jalil Sports Complex, Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Research interests: Competitive mood and anxiety states
relative to performance; mood regulation
Unit, National Sports Institute of Malaysia, National Sports
Council of Malaysia, Bukit Jalil Sports Complex, Sri Petaling,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Degrees: MSc candidate, BSc, CSCS
Research interests: Strength and conditioning training
in combative sports
Professor, Sports Science Program, School of Health Sciences,
Science University of Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.
Research interests: Epidemiology of sports injuries,
combat sports, kinanthropometry, profiling