Further examining the relationship between mental toughness and dispositional flow in sport. A mediation analysis

Patricia C. Jackman *, Lee Crust * and Christian Swann **

(*) School of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Lincoln, UK
(**) Early Start Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Australia

The purpose of the study was to further examine the relationship between mental toughness (MT) and dispositional flow in sport. A sample of 256 athletes (M age = 23.65 years, SD = 5.43), competing at international (n = 59), national (n = 77), and club/university (n = 120) levels completed questionnaires assessing MT and dispositional flow. A significant and positive correlation was found between MT and dispositional flow (r = 0.50, p < 0.001). Mediation analysis revealed that MT had a significant direct effect on the flow dimensions of challenge-skills balance, clear goals, unambiguous feedback, sense of control and concentration on the task at hand, and significant indirect effects on concentration on the task at hand, sense of control, loss of self-consciousness, action-awareness merging and autotelic experience. Findings suggest that MT has direct and indirect effects on the characteristics of flow, offering new insights regarding optimal human functioning.

Keywords: Athlete, Autotelic personality, Confidence, Commitment, Mediation analysis


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