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Personality and Sport: An investigation into whether personality traits can predict behaviour in people participating in competitive sport.

Curran, Emma (2017) Personality and Sport: An investigation into whether personality traits can predict behaviour in people participating in competitive sport. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Investigating a possible link between personality and behaviour in sport was this studies primary aim. In particular, it investigated whether certain personality traits could predict aggressive behaviour in people who participate in competitive sport. The personality traits used as predictors were mental toughness (MTQ18), fear of failure (PFAI), extroversion and neuroticism (BFI), which were measured against participant’s scores of competitive aggression (CAAS). Results were recorded in a self-reported 71-item questionnaire. The objective of the study was to better inform possible interventions for mental health coaching in sport, to reduce negative behaviour. The sample of 120 participants consisted of a range of genders, ages, sporting ability and sporting types. Although the results showed that mental toughness and fear of failure may be a predictor of aggression, neuroticism and extroversion did not. The results therefore did not strongly support the research hypothesis. Upon further analysis of the results, a strong correlation was shown between mental toughness and other personality variables. It was therefore decided to create a secondary research aim, investigating this relationship. A linear regression analysis was performed, which revealed that mental toughness scores predicted positive extroversion traits (t (118)= 6.11 p < .001) and negative neuroticism traits (t (118)=-8,31 p < .001) within participants. This suggests a possible link between an individual’s mental toughness capability, and how it effects their personality. Further research into this is required, however this study helped to gain insight into possible interventions for psychological coaching, with a focus on mental toughness, to improve athletes behaviour.

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