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Mental toughness and attitudes to risk-taking

By Lee Crust and Richard Keegan


This paper tested the relationship between mental toughness and attitudes towards risk-taking in undergraduate student athletes attending two universities in the north of England. A sample of 69 men (M age = 22.2 years, s = 5.28) and 36 women (M age = 24.6 years, s = 7.67) participated and ranged from club to national level in a variety of sports. Participants gave informed consent before completing questionnaires to assess mental toughness and attitudes towards risk. Pearson Product Moment Correlations found significant and positive correlations between overall mental toughness and attitudes towards physical risks, but no relationship with psychological risk. Regression analysis found the mental toughness subscale of challenge to be the most significant predictor of attitudes towards physical risk. Interpersonal confidence was the only mental toughness subscale found to be significantly and positively related to attitudes towards psychological risk. Independent t-tests found men reported significantly higher overall mental toughness, confidence in abilities, and attitudes towards both physical and psychological risk, than women. These results are discussed with regard to previous research findings and future researchers are encouraged to consider employing experimental methodologies in order to manipulate contextual factors to more fully understand any individual differences

Topics: C600 Sports Science, C800 Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.03.026
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:2436
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