Mental toughness in sport: A review and prospect

Yu Kai Chang*, Lin Chi, Chih Shiung Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Numerous studies have indicated that mental toughness plays a significant role in successful sports performance. However, most early research into the effects of mental toughness was merely descriptive, and only recently were the theoretical and systematic bases of mental toughness structures and concepts significantly established. Additionally, previous studies were based on a variety of measurements and research designs focusing on mental toughness structures and concepts, resulting in a number of non-identical points of view. In order to further understand the development of contemporary mental tenacity research, the purpose of this manuscript is to review those studies examining the relationship between mental toughness and sports performance, as well as focusing on the following four specific sections including the early views on mental toughness, contemporary mental toughness research applying qualitative approaches, contemporary mental toughness research using quantitative approaches, and research on mental toughness and other mental variables. Conclusion and future research recommendations in these areas are also covered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-92
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • hardiness
  • mental toughness
  • optimism
  • pain
  • psychological skill

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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