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Durham e-Theses
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Competitive sport and personality development

Tattersfield, C. Roy (1971) Competitive sport and personality development. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The purpose of this longitudinal study was to investigate the possible effects there might be on the development of personality of boys aged twelve to fourteen years during their involvement in a highly competitive sports environment. The competitive group was composed of 106 boys who competed regularly in the Amateur Swimming Association's Age Group competition and were drawn from swimming clubs throughout N.E. England. Each competitor was matched with a boy in the non-competitive control group in terms of chronological and mental age, of social and educational background and in strength. Personality aspects were measured by Cattell's High School Personality Questionnaire and the Junior Eysenck Personality Inventory, the tests being administered annually. The data was analysed by multiple discriminant analysis and analysis of variance techniques. Principal findings were that the total personality profile of the competitive group changed significantly (.01) relative to that of the control group. In terms of higher order personality factors the competitive group became more extrovert and were less anxious than the control group, there was no difference in Cortertia (cortical alertness) but the control group demonstrated a greater level of Independence. Subsidiary comparisons of the personality profile of competitors classified as being most and least successful revealed a significant discriminant function (.05) at the conclusion of the study. Univariate analyses of higher order factors did not reveal any significant differences between the groups. In comparisons between these groups and a group of boys who dropped out of competition no significant differences were found either in total personality profile or in higher order personality factors at twelve years of age. The results are discussed with reference to previous research in the field and conclusions are drawn regarding the desirability of competitive sport in an educational context.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1971
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 09:30

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