The relationship between mental toughness and psychological wellbeing in undergraduate students

Stamp, Elizabeth, Crust, Lee, Swann, Christian , Perry, John, Clough, Peter and Marchant, David (2014) The relationship between mental toughness and psychological wellbeing in undergraduate students. In: British Psychological Society North East of England Branch Annual Conference on Health and Well-being in the 21st Century: Towards 2050, 12 sept 2014, Northumbria University.

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Recent research has highlighted concerns over the mental health of university students. All three years of standard undergraduate study has been identified as challenging and accompanied by multiple potential stressors. Nevertheless, individual differences can function as resistance resources and help buffer the potentially harmful effects of stress. One relevant individual difference is mental toughness (MT) which has emerged from sport research, but more recently has been found to be important in other life domains (i.e. education). Mentally tough individuals tend to be persistent, confident, retain control in stressful circumstances, and view challenges or new environments as an opportunity to develop rather than a threat. It was therefore hypothesised that MT would mitigate against the effects of stress and be significantly and positively related to psychological wellbeing in university students. Altogether 168 undergraduate students from nine universities across the U.K. completed online questionnaires assessing their MT and psychological wellbeing. The majority of participants studied sport or psychology related courses, although a range of courses were represented (i.e. history and fashion). All components of mental toughness were positively related with all components of psychological wellbeing. In total the variance explained by mental toughness of each wellbeing scale ranged from 35% to 64%. MT assessment can be a potential screening tool for identifying students at risk of mental health issues; these students can receive additional support through targeted interventions. Such suggestions have previously been made relating to students academic achievement and attendance, and could now benefit the psychological wellbeing of ‘at risk’ students.

Keywords:Mental Toughness, Psychological Wellbeing, University students, mental health
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C600 Sports Science
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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ID Code:17772
Deposited On:09 Jul 2015 08:54

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