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pattern was more consistent between training and competition for the higher level group

then for the lower level group. The researchers concluded that for the lower level

gymnasts to perform better in competition, they would need to decrease the arousal

discrepancy between training and competition. It was also noted that there was little

difference in the effort level for the higher level gymnasts between competition and

training, whereas there was a significant difference for the lower level group.

Arguably, the study that best supports the need for psychological testing of

competitive gymnasts was done to help understand why some gymnasts succeed and

others do not (Fitzpatrick, 1999). The study involved comparisons of elite and non-elite

level gymnasts, and found that the most commonly reported attributes for both

successful and unsuccessful performance outcomes were psychological factors.

Investigation of the types of causal attributions of 60 competitive gymnasts was

assessed by the Sport Attributional Style Survey (SASS; Hanrahan & Grove, 1990).

Causal attributions are inferences made about why something happened (LeUnes &

Nation, 2002). Results indicated that successful performances were rated as stable,

internal and controllable by the gymnasts. Up until this time, it was generally believed

that ability was the most common cause of successful outcomes and that unsuccessful

performance outcomes should result in unstable, external and uncontrollable

attributions (Weiner, 1985).

As is evident from the literature, the psychological characteristics of gymnasts

can have a profound influence on how they perform in their competitive careers. One

important question is which psychological inventory will best assess these

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