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Mental toughness, stress, stress appraisal, coping and coping effectiveness in sport

Polman, Remco; Kaiseler, Mariana; Nicholls, Adam


Remco Polman

Mariana Kaiseler

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


The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between mental toughness, stressor appraisal, coping strategies and coping effectiveness among a sample of athletes. Participants were 482 athletes (male n=305: female n=177), aged between 16 and 45 years (M age=20.44 years, SD=3.98). In support of a priori predictions, mental toughness was associated with stress intensity and control appraisal, but not the type of stressor experienced by athletes. Total mental toughness and its six components predicted coping and coping effectiveness in relation to the self-selected stressor. In particular, higher levels of mental toughness were associated with more problem-focused coping, but less emotion-focused and avoidance coping. Coping effectiveness was influenced by the coping strategy employed by the athletes.


Kaiseler, M., Polman, R., & Nicholls, A. (2009). Mental toughness, stress, stress appraisal, coping and coping effectiveness in sport. Personality and individual differences, 47(7), 728-733.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 8, 2009
Online Publication Date Jul 12, 2009
Publication Date 2009-11
Print ISSN 0191-8869
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 47
Issue 7
Pages 728-733
Keywords Mental toughness; Stress appraisal; Coping strategies; Coping effectiveness; Sport
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