Mental toughness in Scottish Rugby Union

Leckey, Stephen (2019) Mental toughness in Scottish Rugby Union. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The purpose of this doctoral thesis was to develop a comprehensive understanding of mental toughness within Scottish Rugby Union (SRU). This aim was achieved through a considered and evidence-based analysis of the construct, with the first experimental chapter assessing the levels of mental toughness present within semi-elite and elite rugby union players in Scotland. It was concluded that mental toughness is an important psychological construct associated with rugby union performance, as it discriminated between semi-elite and elite rugby union players. The range in levels of self-reported mental toughness present within this cohort, warrants the development of an effective intervention. The next experimental chapter promoted the use of an interpretative phenomenological approach (IPA) to explore what it means to be mentally tough with professional rugby union in Scotland. Participants included players and support staff, conclusions from within this chapter provided a theoretical basis for the subsequent experimental chapters. Rugby specific, mentally tough behaviours were identified from this qualitative analysis and the next experimental chapter sought to identify and measure these mentally tough behaviours. These behaviours were positively correlated with self-reported scores of mental toughness, highlighting the value of measuring psychological constructs using notational analysis. The final experimental chapter investigated the feasibility of the Mindfulness Acceptance and Commitment (MAC) approach to enhance mental toughness in a group of semi-elite rugby union players. Consistent with the view that mental toughness is a complex psychological construct, a feasibility study completed as it was a fundamental step to ensure the success of any future intervention efforts. The development of such an intervention would have a positive impact upon the mental toughness, performance and potentially the mental health of professional rugby players.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: mental toughness, sports psychology.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Macfarlane, Professor Niall
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Mr Stephen Leckey
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-81286
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2020 11:21
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2020 11:24

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