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      Mental Toughness in Competitive Tennis: Relationships with Resilience and Stress


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          The present study investigated the relationships between mental toughness (MT), resilience, and stress among competitive South African tennis players. A total of 351 tennis players participating at various competitive standards completed the Sports Mental Toughness Questionnaire, the Resilience Scale for Adults, and a modified version of the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes. The results indicated that total MT was positively associated with total resilience ( r = 0.59), but negatively associated with total stress ( r = -0.44). The resilience subscales of perception of self, perception of future, social competence, and social resources, but not family cohesion, significantly predicted total MT ( R 2 = 0.35). Both total resilience and total MT significantly predicted total stress ( R 2 = 0.21). Based on the findings, interrelations between MT and resilience are explored, implications outlined, and additional research is suggested to ascertain the contextual relevance and outcomes associated with each construct in sport.

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          Most cited references43

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          A grounded theory of psychological resilience in Olympic champions

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            Resilience in relation to personality and intelligence.

            Resilience is a construct of increasing interest, but validated scales measuring resilience factors among adults are scarce. Here, a scale named the Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA) was crossvalidated and compared with measures of personality (Big Five/5PFs), cognitive abilities (Raven's Advanced Matrices, Vocabulary, Number series), and social intelligence (TSIS). All measures were given to 482 applicants for the military college. Confirmatory factor analyses confirmed the fit of the five-factor model, measuring 'personal strength', 'social competence', 'structured style', 'family cohesion' and 'social resources'. Using Big Five to discriminate between well adjusted and more vulnerable personality profiles, all resilience factors were positively correlated with the well adjusted personality profile. RSA-personal strength was most associated with 5PFs-emotional stability, RSA-social competence with 5PFs-extroversion and 5PFs-agreeableness, as well as TSIS-social skills, RSA-structured style with 5PFs-conscientiousness. Unexpectedly but interestingly, measures of RSA-family cohesion and RSA-social resources were also related to personality. Furthermore, the RSA was unrelated to cognitive abilities. This study supported the convergent and discriminative validity of the scale, and thus the inference that individuals scoring high on this scale are psychologically healthier, better adjusted, and thus more resilient.
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              What is resilience?

              While everyone-including front-line clinicians-should strive to prevent the maltreatment and other severe stresses experienced by many children and adults in everyday life, psychiatrists and other health professionals also need to consider how best to support, throughout the lifespan, those people affected by severe adversity. The first step in achieving this is a clear understanding of the definitions and concepts in the rapidly growing study of resilience. Our paper reviews the definitions of resilience and the range of factors understood as contributing to it, and considers some of the implications for clinical care and public health. This narrative review took a major Canadian report published in 2006 as its starting point. The databases, MEDLINE and PsycINFO, were searched for new relevant citations from 2006 up to July 2010 to identify key papers considering the definitions of resilience and related concepts. Definitions have evolved over time but fundamentally resilience is understood as referring to positive adaptation, or the ability to maintain or regain mental health, despite experiencing adversity. The personal, biological, and environmental or systemic sources of resilience and their interaction are considered. An interactive model of resilience illustrates the factors that enhance or reduce homeostasis or resilience. The 2 key concepts for clinical and public health work are: the dynamic nature of resilience throughout the lifespan; and the interaction of resilience in different ways with major domains of life function, including intimate relationships and attachments.

                Author and article information

                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                15 March 2016
                : 7
                : 320
                [1] 1Institute of Psychology and Wellbeing, North-West University Potchefstroom, South Africa
                [2] 2Discipline of Psychology, University of KwaZulu-Natal Durban, South Africa
                Author notes

                Edited by: Guy Cheron, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

                Reviewed by: Leapetswe Malete, University of Botswana, Botswana; Jamie Alan Taylor, University of Central Lancashire, UK

                *Correspondence: Richard G. Cowden, richardgregorycowden@ 123456gmail.com

                This article was submitted to Movement Science and Sport Psychology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

                Copyright © 2016 Cowden, Meyer-Weitz and Oppong Asante.

                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.

                : 25 August 2015
                : 21 February 2016
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 74, Pages: 9, Words: 0
                Original Research

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                mental toughness,resilience,stress,sport,competitive tennis
                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                mental toughness, resilience, stress, sport, competitive tennis


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