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Gender and personality differences in coping in sport

Kaiseler, Mariana H.


Mariana H. Kaiseler


Inability to cope with stress in sport has been associated with sport withdrawal (Klint & Weis, 1986; Smith, 1986), decreased performance (Lazarus, 2000), and athletes not being able to pursue careers in professional sport (Holt & Dunn, 2004). It is therefore crucial to both researchers and practitioners working with athletes to have a greater understanding of coping in sport in order to design effective interventions and to make sport a more satisfying experience (Nicholls & Polman, 2007a).

Since the 1990s there has been an increase in published studies in coping in sport. However, the understanding of factors which might influence coping in sport is still unclear and under researched. For example, gender appears to be a moderator variable influencing the stress and coping process. Nevertheless the relationship between gender and coping in sport appears to be equivocal. Some studies have reported gender differences in coping preferences (e.g., Hammermeister & Burton, 2004; Nicholls, Polman, Levy, Taylor, & Cobley, 2007) whereas other studies did not find differences between male and female athletes in coping preferences (e.g., Bebetsos & Antoniou, 2003; Kowalski, Crocker, Hoar & Niefer, 2005). Also, as suggested by the mainstream psychology literature, personality has been considered to be a moderator factor that could influence each aspect of the stress-coping process. However, little is known about this relationship between personality and coping in sport. This is true for the basic dimensions of personality (The Big Five) and the sport specific personality trait mental toughness.

An understanding about male and female coping preferences is essential from both an applied and theoretical perspective. For example, it would allow practitioners to develop gender specific programmes for males and females to cope more effectively with stress. Also, further knowledge into the relationship between personality and coping is required, in order to design effective intervention programmes that fit individual needs.


Kaiseler, M. H. (2010). Gender and personality differences in coping in sport. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Publication Date Feb 1, 2010
Deposit Date Jul 24, 2012
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Sports sciences
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Sport, Health and Exercise Science, The University of Hull


Thesis (624 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2010 Kaiseler, Mariana H. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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