Date of Graduation

8-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Dean R. Gorman

Committee Member

Sharon Hunt

Second Committee Member

Cathy D. Lirgg

Third Committee Member

Wen-Juo Lo

Keywords

Health and environmental sciences; Education; Athlete; Grit; Mental toughness; Motivation; Multi-sport; Single-sport

Abstract

Whether it is at work, school or sports, mental toughness (MT), grit and motivation are essential to accomplishing goals. Sports can be an integral platform for developing MT, grit, and factors that increase motivation levels, and it is during childhood and adolescence that these characteristics may develop. All of this could prove beneficial into adulthood. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine MT, grit and motivational orientations of single-sport and multi-sport athletes at different levels of competition. Considering MT, a 2 x 2 ANOVA indicated no significant interaction effect between athlete type and competition level, F(1, 387) = .06, p = .812, partial η2 < .001, but significant main effects for athlete type, F(1, 387) = 4.87, p = .028, partial η2 = .012, and competition level, F(1, 387) = 17.33, p < .001, partial η2 = .043. Furthermore, regarding grit, a 2 x 2 ANOVA indicated no significant interaction effect between athlete type and competition level, F(1, 382) = .32, p = .571, partial η2 = .001, and no significance for the athlete type main effect, F(1, 382) = 1.22, p = .270, partial η2 = .003. However, a significant main effect was found for competition level, F(1, 382) = 5.42, p = .020, partial η2 = .014. As for motivation, a 2 x 2 ANOVA indicated a significant interaction effect between athlete type and competition level F(1, 373) = 4.11, p = .043, partial η2 = .011 and a significant main effect for competition level F(1, 373) = 9.50, p = .002, partial η2 = .025. However, there was no significant finding for the type of athlete, F(1, 373) = .76, p = .385, partial η2 = .002. Examining the simple main effects for competition level, it was discovered that single-sport athletes only achieving high school level playing experience scored significantly lower than single-sport high school athletes that went on to play collegiately, F(1, 373) = 13.61, p < .001. Moreover, multi-sport high school athletes scored significantly higher than single-sport high school athletes, F(1, 373) = 5.42, p = .020.

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