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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Investigation into Differences in Psychological Skills in Ultra-endurance Athletes and Endurance Athletes
by Meckfessel, Megan, M.S., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2019, 46; 13865730
Abstract (Summary)

Ultra-endurance sports are growing in popularity. By definition, ultra-endurance events are foot races, cycling events, swimming events or triathlons lasing longer than 5-6 hours (Linderman, Demchak, Dallas & Buckworth, 2003). Little research has been done to assess the psychological differences in a broad cross section of ultra-endurance athletes. Research has shown differences in attentional focusing styles of endurance athletes and ultra-endurance athletes (Morgan & Pollock, 1977). A literature review conducted by McCormick, Meijen and Marcora (2015) revealed that correlates of endurance performance include a positive affect, self-efficacy, the use of psychological strategies, personal standards perfectionism, performance approach goals and self-set personal goals, and identified a need for sport and distance specific research. Freund et al., (2012) used the General Self Efficacy Test (GSE) but found no difference in self-efficacy between ultra-athletes and the control group. Limitations of the study suggest further investigation is needed. Though Jaeschke, Sachs and Dieffenbach (2016) conducted qualitative research regarding ultra-marathoners’ ideas about mental toughness, quantitative research is needed for better understanding. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to define differences in self-efficacy, self-motivation, mood and mental toughness. Though no significant difference in mental toughness or self-efficacy was found, analysis found differences in self-motivation, specifically concerning drive and persistence. Additionally, while no differences in mood states were found between endurance athletes and ultra-endurance athletes, the mood profile of both groups mirrored the iceberg model associated with sport performance.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ross-Stewart, Lindsay
Commitee: Kempland, Monica, Webb, Benjamin
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Kinesiology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 58/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Health sciences
Keywords: Mental toughness, Profile of mood states, Self efficacy, Self motivation
Publication Number: 13865730
ISBN: 978-1-392-26032-6
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