Adolescent performers' perspectives on mental toughness and its development

The utility of the bioecological model

John W. Mahoney*, Daniel F. Gucciardi, Clifford J. Mallett, Nikos Ntoumanis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In light of the extant literature, the aim of the current study was to compare adolescents' perspectives on mental toughness and its development across performance contexts, and to explore if such perspectives align with Bronfenbrenner's (2001) bioecological model. Eighteen mentally tough adolescents (9 boys, 9 girls, Mage = 15.6 years) from three performance contexts (i.e., sport, academia, and music) participated in focus groups, 7 of whom also participated in follow-up one-to-one interviews. Inductive analyses revealed that mental toughness was conceptualized by 9 personal characteristics, and that while similar across performance contexts, some difference between previous mental toughness conceptualization and the current study existed. Analyses also revealed that mental toughness development was predicated on significant others, supportive social processes, critical incidents, and curiosity. These findings resonated with the properties of the bioecological model. Future research into how bioecological factors combine to facilitate mental toughness development during critical stages of life was suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-244
Number of pages12
JournalSport Psychologist
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Human potential
  • Performance contexts
  • Positive youth development

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Adolescent performers' perspectives on mental toughness and its development: The utility of the bioecological model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this