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CHAPTER III

CONCLUSIONS

The psychological characteristics of female competitive gymnasts were

examined using the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28 (ACSI-28). Additionally, a

comparison of the coping skills was conducted to determine differences among the

competitive levels. It was concluded that the Level 11 (“elite”) gymnasts consistently

scored higher on the ACSI-28 subscales than did the other levels. Results also

demonstrated that ACSI-28 scores for Level 11 (“elite”) gymnasts are very similar to

the scores for top players in the other sports, indicating that the ACSI-28 is just as valid

for “elite” level gymnasts as it is for “elite” level athletes in other sports. Furthermore,

these results demonstrate that the instrument is valid for young “elite” athletes as well.

Studies in other sports indicate there are differences between “elite” and “sub-

elite” athletes. Results from the present study seem to support the research in other

sports. Therefore, it can be concluded that the psychological make-up of “elite” level

gymnasts is different then that of other levels. Furthermore, it has been shown which

athletic coping skills differentiate the “elite” level gymnasts from the non-elite level

gymnasts.

From a practical viewpoint it is not being suggested that this test be used to

determine which athletes should be picked to train and compete at the “elite” level,

however, observed discrepancies between the ACSI-28 scores of exemplary gymnasts

and those of the less adept gymnasts may identify those psychological characteristics

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