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Mental toughness in sport: Achievement level, gender, age, experience, and sport type differences

Polman, Remco C. J.; Polman, Remco C.J.; Nicholls, Adam R.; Polman, R. C J; Levy, Andrew R.; Backhouse, Susan H.


Remco C. J. Polman

Remco C.J. Polman

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Professor Adam Nicholls
Professor of Psychology/ Leader of the Sport Psychology and Coaching Group

R. C J Polman

Andrew R. Levy

Susan H. Backhouse


It was hypothesized that there would be significant differences in mental toughness among athletes of different: (a) achievement level, (b) gender, (c) age, (d) sporting experience, and (e) sport type (team vs. individual and contact vs. non-contact sports). Participants were 677 athletes and consisted of sports performers competing at international (n = 60), national (n = 99), county (n = 198), club/university (n = 289), and beginner (n = 31) levels. Results revealed a significant relationship between mental toughness and gender, age, and sporting experience. However, achievement level and the type of sport an athlete participated in was not significantly associated with mental toughness. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Nicholls, A. R., Polman, R. C. J., Levy, A. R., & Backhouse, S. H. (2009). Mental toughness in sport: Achievement level, gender, age, experience, and sport type differences. Personality and individual differences, 47(1), (73-75). doi:10.1016/j.paid.2009.02.006. ISSN 0191-8869

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 3, 2009
Online Publication Date Mar 14, 2009
Publication Date 2009-07
Print ISSN 0191-8869
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 47
Issue 1
Pages 73-75
Keywords General Psychology
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