Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Joshua Hart




athletes, attachment, competition, sports, psychology


The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between athletes’ attachment styles and their team- and self-efficacy after wins or losses in sporting contests. The study followed up on a theory proposed by Sam Carr (2012), which posits that attachment style plays an important role in athletic competition and can act as a buffer to negative outcomes in sport. In order to test this idea, a research study was conducted surveying Union College Varsity athletes during both the fall and winter sporting seasons. Across the course of the participants’ athletic seasons, four surveys were distributed. The first of the four surveys analyzed participants’ attachment style, sporting self-efficacy and team-efficacy, among other personality traits. Following the distribution of the first survey, participants completed follow-up measures after completing an athletic completion. Results provided some support for the hypothesis that attachment style influences athletes’ reactions to wins and losses. Attachment avoidance was found to negatively predict individuals’ perceived team-efficacy after a win or loss. Results also indicated that attachment anxiety was related to a positive response after wins and losses. The study bears implications for attachment theory and sport psychology, and may inform interventions aimed at improving athletes’ sense of team- and self-efficacy.