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ABSTRACT

Psychological Characteristics of Elite and

Non-Elite Level Gymnasts. (December 2003)

Steven B. Waples, B.S., Washington State University;

  • B.

    S., Washington State University;

  • M.

    S., Washington State University

Chair of Advisory Committee: Dr. Carl Gabbard

Literature has indicated that there are psychological characteristics in elite

athletes of various sports that are significantly different than those of non-elite level

athletes.

The purpose of this study was to discover the different psychological

characteristics associated with elite level gymnasts, and contrast the results with

psychological characteristics of competitive gymnasts of other levels using the Athletic

Coping Skills Inventory-28.

Participants in this study were 195 gymnasts from gymnastics training centers

throughout the United States. Results indicated that there was a significant difference

in the Personal Resources Score (PCR) between the elite gymnast and all other levels.

Furthermore, a significant difference was demonstrated among four of the seven sub-

scales making up the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28. The study supports the

hypothesis that the psychological make-up of “elite” level gymnasts is different than

that of other competitive gymnastics levels.

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