Trait anxiety and achievement goals as predictors of self-reported health in dancers.
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Psychological characteristics associated with interpreting situations as stressful can impact people's physical health. The present investigation focused on trait anxiety and achievement goals as two such characteristics that may predict health outcomes in dancers, a group prone to chronic stress and injury. Students enrolled in a university dance program (N = 109) completed measures of trait anxiety, achievement goals for dance classes, and current health at the start of an academic term. Health was assessed again at the end of the term. Greater trait anxiety predicted poorer health at the end of the term when controlling for initial health. In addition, the more dancers wanted to avoid performing worse than others (performance-avoidance goals), the poorer was their physical health at term's end. It is concluded that anxiety and performance-avoidance goals may hinder dancers' ability to cope with the physical stress associated with a dance career.