Extensive research has been conducted regarding mental toughness within the context of sport. Qualitative studies have identified attributes of mental toughness, while quantitative studies have examined the associations between mental toughness and other attributes. Despite the abundance of literature examining the effects of mental toughness on increased athletic performance, challenge appraisal, and motivation, within the context of sport, there is a paucity of literature examining mental toughness within the context of physical activity (PA). Furthermore, studies that have examined mental toughness within the context of PA included only athletes in their samples. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the association between mental toughness and physical activity behavior among college students enrolled in a Midwestern university. We hypothesized that mental toughness will be positively associated with both moderate intensity physical activity and with vigorous intensity physical activity. We also hypothesized that the association between mental toughness and vigorous intensity physical activity will be stronger than the association between mental toughness and moderate intensity physical activity. To test these hypotheses, a convenience sample of 273 students enrolled in an introductory applied health course at a Midwestern university was collected. Participants (N = 273) completed online questionnaires regarding age, sex, race, athlete status, MT, and PA. The Mental Toughness Questionnaire-48 (MTQ48) was used to measure MT while the International Physical Activity Questionnaire – Short Form (IPAQ-SF) was used to measure PA. Pearson’s Product-Moment Correlations were used to assess correlations between MT and PA. Independent samples t-tests were used to determine whether MT and PA varied according to sex (male vs female), race (White vs non-White), or athlete status (athlete vs non-athlete). There were no significant correlations between overall MT, total PA, VPA, or MPA. Of the six subscales of MT, only challenge showed significant correlations with overall PA, r(273) = .133, p < .05 and VPA, r(273) = .199, p < .05. Scores on the challenge subscale of MT were higher for athletes compared to non-athletes (3.68±0.37 vs 3.55±0.43, p < .05, d = .32). Furthermore, overall PA was higher for athletes compared to non-athletes (688.65±734.82 vs 324.80±511.70, p < .05, d = .57), as was VPA (444.15±389.63 vs 191.73±269.78, p < .05, d = .75). Additionally, VPA was higher for males compared to females (329.57±16.44 vs 220.31± 323.72, p < .05, d = .34). No significant differences were found between overall MT and overall PA when regarding age and race. However, age was correlated with the MT subscale challenge, r(273) = .129, p < .05. In conclusion, MT was not correlated with PA among college students. Future research should examine the differences in MT and PA according to sex, race, and athletic status further.
|Advisor:||Webb, Benjamin L|
|Commitee:||Ross-Stewart, Lindsay L, Shimizu, Mitsuru M|
|School:||Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 81/11(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Mental toughness, Physical activity|
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