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Executive function and mood: The moderating role of athletic expertise

Vaughan, Robert S. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1573-7000 and McConville, Christopher (2021) Executive function and mood: The moderating role of athletic expertise. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 128 (2). pp. 672-691.

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Abstract

Executive function (EF) is known to be influenced by mood, but whether this relationship holds for populations of athletes and whether athletic expertise moderates it is uncertain. Thus, in the current study, we examined relationships between positive and negative affect (i.e., mood), the lower-order cortical aspects of executive function (i.e., inhibition, shifting and updating), and athletic expertise. A sample of 256 participants (55.08% male; Mage = 20.69) completed a self-report mood measure and computerized tests of EF. Individuals with more athletic expertise reported higher positive affect and better EF scores, whereas those with less athletic expertise reported higher negative affect. Structural equation modelling indicated that positive affect was related to better inhibition, shifting, and updating performance but was not related to performance errors. Similarly, negative affect was related to better EF, except for the inhibition latency score. Athletic expertise moderated all significant associations between mood and EF and higher expertise facilitated higher EF performance. Together, athletic expertise is an important individual differences factor in understanding the influence of mood on EF performance.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0031512520987364
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/4847

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