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      Mental Toughness and Individual Differences in Learning, Educational and Work Performance, Psychological Well-being, and Personality: A Systematic Review

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          Abstract

          Mental toughness (MT) is an umbrella term that entails positive psychological resources, which are crucial across a wide range of achievement contexts and in the domain of mental health. We systematically review empirical studies that explored the associations between the concept of MT and individual differences in learning, educational and work performance, psychological well-being, personality, and other psychological attributes. Studies that explored the genetic and environmental contributions to individual differences in MT are also reviewed. The findings suggest that MT is associated with various positive psychological traits, more efficient coping strategies and positive outcomes in education and mental health. Approximately 50% of the variation in MT can be accounted for by genetic factors. Furthermore, the associations between MT and psychological traits can be explained mainly by either common genetic or non-shared environmental factors. Taken together, our findings suggest a ‘mental toughness advantage’ with possible implications for developing interventions to facilitate achievement in a variety of settings.

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          Most cited references102

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          The Dark Triad of personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy

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            Long-term physical and mental health consequences of childhood physical abuse: results from a large population-based sample of men and women.

            Child maltreatment has been linked to negative adult health outcomes; however, much past research includes only clinical samples of women, focuses exclusively on sexual abuse and/or fails to control for family background and childhood characteristics, both potential confounders. Further research is needed to obtain accurate, generalizable estimates and to educate clinicians who are generally unaware of the link between childhood abuse and adult health. The purpose of this project is to examine how childhood physical abuse by parents impacts mid-life mental and physical health, and to explore the attenuating effect of family background and childhood adversities. We analyzed population-based survey data from over 2,000 middle-aged men and women in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study using self-reported measures of parental childhood physical abuse, mental health (depression, anxiety, anger), physical health (physical symptoms and medical diagnoses), family background, and childhood adversities. Parental physical abuse was reported by 11.4% of respondents (10.6% of males and 12.1% of females). In multivariate models controlling for age, sex, childhood adversities, and family background, we found that childhood physical abuse predicted a graded increase in depression, anxiety, anger, physical symptoms, and medical diagnoses. Childhood physical abuse also predicted severe ill health and an array of specific medical diagnoses and physical symptoms. Family background and childhood adversities attenuated but did not eliminate the childhood abuse/adult health relationship. In a population-based cohort of middle-aged men and women, childhood physical abuse predicted worse mental and physical health decades after the abuse. These effects were attenuated, but not eliminated, by age, sex, family background, and childhood adversities.
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              Sizing up human height variation.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1664-1078
                11 August 2017
                2017
                : 8
                : 1345
                Affiliations
                [1] 1Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles CA, United States
                [2] 2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London London, United Kingdom
                [3] 3Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester, United Kingdom
                [4] 4Department of Psychology, Huddersfield University Huddersfield, United Kingdom
                [5] 5Queen’s University Belfast Belfast, United Kingdom
                [6] 6Department of Psychology, Tomsk State University Tomsk, Russia
                Author notes

                Edited by: Martin S. Hagger, Curtin University, Australia

                Reviewed by: Terry Clark, Royal College of Music, United Kingdom; John L. Perry, University of Hull, United Kingdom

                *Correspondence: Kostas A. Papageorgiou, k.papageorgiou@ 123456qub.ac.uk

                Co-first authors and have contributed equally to this work.

                This article was submitted to Personality and Social Psychology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

                Article
                10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01345
                5554528
                28848466
                573ccb39-4392-4987-9f13-a8df34b6e87f
                Copyright © 2017 Lin, Mutz, Clough and Papageorgiou.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                History
                : 04 February 2017
                : 24 July 2017
                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 115, Pages: 15, Words: 0
                Funding
                Funded by: Manchester Metropolitan University 10.13039/100010014
                Categories
                Psychology
                Review

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                mental toughness,educational performance,psychological well-being,personality,genetics of mental toughness

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