Mental toughness in sport: Motivational antecedents and associations with performance and psychological health

Journal article


Mahoney, John William, Gucciardi, Daniel F., Ntoumanis, Nikos and Mallett, Cliff J. 2014. Mental toughness in sport: Motivational antecedents and associations with performance and psychological health. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 36 (3), pp. 281 - 292. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2013-0260
AuthorsMahoney, John William, Gucciardi, Daniel F., Ntoumanis, Nikos and Mallett, Cliff J.
Abstract

We argue that basic psychological needs theory (BPNT) offers impetus to the value of mental toughness as a mechanism for optimizing human functioning. We hypothesized that psychological needs satisfaction (thwarting) would be associated with higher (lower) levels of mental toughness, positive affect, and performance and lower (higher) levels of negative affect. We also expected that mental toughness would be associated with higher levels of positive affect and performance and lower levels of negative affect. Further, we predicted that coaching environments would be related to mental toughness indirectly through psychological needs and that psychological needs would indirectly relate with performance and affect through mental toughness. Adolescent cross-country runners (136 male and 85 female, Mage = 14.36) completed questionnaires pertaining to BPNT variables, mental toughness, and affect. Race times were also collected. Our findings supported our hypotheses. We concluded that BPNT is generative in understanding some of the antecedents and consequences of mental toughness and is a novel framework useful for understanding mental toughness.

Keywordsautonomy; positive youth development; coach environments; human functioning
Year2014
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Journal citation36 (3), pp. 281 - 292
PublisherHuman Kinetics
ISSN1543-2904
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2013-0260
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84903120429
Page range281 - 292
Research GroupSports Performance, Recovery, Injury and New Technologies (SPRINT) Research Centre
Place of publicationAmerica
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