Masters Thesis

Physiological Arousal of Military Personnel Prior to Separate Bouts of Competition

The purpose of this study was to examine intra-individual arousal and anxiety fluctuation and their association with performance in two different military-based challenges in collegiate ROTC cadets (aged 22.78 ± 3.49). Arousal and performance data were collected from 20 male cadets who performed in a military-task competition in order to earn a German Armed Forces Badge (GAFB). Data were collected from the pistol shoot and swim competitions, with arousal measured via salivary cortisol level, and anxiety measured using state scores from the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Using binary logistic regression analyses, no relationships were found between changes in the arousal and anxiety measures and performance of ROTC cadets on the militarybased challenges. It is hypothesized that these findings are specific to the population, and that in more experienced populations the relationship would have been different. Variables that likely interfered with a potential relationship between arousal/anxiety and performance in these cadets included, but were not limited to, experience, time of day of the competitions, diet, hydration, wakening time, and sleep.

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