In 2012 I presented a paper at a BPS conference at the Etihad stadium (Manchester) concerning the role of mental toughness in higher education. Sometimes the cogs of the academic world turn rather slowly and the full-length version of that paper has been through several revisions since then but I am pleased to announce that it is finally “in press” and will be published in the near future. We found, using a sample of first-year undergraduate sport students, that mental toughness was related to higher academic performance (end of year grade). The subscales of interpersonal confidence and life control were the best predictors – if you think about it, this makes sense. First year study is effectively a transition period where students often live away from home for the first time, have to manage their own budgets and have to take more personal responsibility than before. They are also faced with establishing new relationships with fellow students and lecturing staff. We also found that lower levels of mental toughness predicted dropout – that is, students with lower mental toughness were more likely to leave or fail the first year. Full details of the forthcoming publication are listed below.
And that reminds me – this is another collaboration with Peter Clough. Peter has recently moved on from the University of Hull to take up a new role at Manchester Metropolitan University. With the change of role has come a change of title – so congratulations to Professor Clough!
Crust, L., Earle, K., Perry, J., Earle, F., Clough, A., & Clough, P. (in press). Mental toughness in higher education. Relationships with achievement and progression in first-year University sports students. Personality and Individual Differences.