Coping with Stress and Pain in Hard and Soft Adventure Mountain Athletes

Keywords: mountaineering, coping, stress, pain, adventure, athletes


Several scales were used to assess the levels of coping with stress and pain of 97 Polish hard adventure mountain athletes (Mage = 30.50, SD = 9.45), who climb in winter using mountain ice axes, harnesses, hooks or ropes in high mountains, and 103 Polish soft adventure mountain athletes who summer hike in low mountains (Mage = 28.30, SD = 6.50). The results indicated significant differences between soft and hard adventure climbers in the ways climbers react to stress. The hard adventure climbing group had significantly higher means on the Preventive Coping, Proactive Coping, Task-Oriented Coping, Diverting Attention, Reinterpretation of Pain, Ignoring Pain, Coping Self-Statements and Behavioural Strategies than the soft adventure mountain athletes, but lower means on Emotion-Oriented Coping, Catastrophising and Praying/Hoping compared to the soft mountain athletes group. This study also examined the factor structure of the coping scales in the climbers’ samples. The results suggested that the coping scales contain the following three factors: Passive-Oriented Coping, Future-Oriented Coping and Appraisal-Oriented Coping. The extracted factors discriminate between soft and hard adventure mountain athletes. The hard adventure mountain athletes had significantly higher means on the Future-Oriented Coping and the Appraisal- Oriented Coping, and a lower mean on Passive-Oriented Coping than the soft mountain athletes group.


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