2013, Volume 9, Issue 3

Personality traits and stress coping styles in the Polish National Cadet Wrestling Team

Maciej Tomczak1, Grzegorz Bręczewski1, Marek Sokołowski2, Alicja Kaiser3, Urszula Czerniak4

1Department of Psychology, University School of Physical Education in Poznań, Poland
2Department of the Methodology of Physical Education, University School of Physical Education in Poznań, Poland
3Department of Tourism, Wielkopolska Higher School of Tourism and Management in Poznań, Poland
4Department of Anthropology and Biometry, University School of Physical Education in Poznań, Poland

Author for correspondence: Maciej Tomczak; Department of Psychology, University School of Physical Education in Poznań, Poland; email: maciejtomczak5[at]gmail.com

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Background and Study Aim: The aim of this work is to characterize personality traits and different stress coping styles in wrestlers from the Polish National Cadet Wrestling Team, as well as to define the relation between the wrestlers’ personality factors and their styles of coping in stressful situations.
Material and Methods: The participants were 20 cadets from the Polish National Team (10 girls and 10 boys). This study used the NEO-FFI Personality Inventory by Costa and McCrae to determine wrestlers’ personality traits. The coping styles presented below were assessed using the Coping Inventory of Stressful Situations (CISS) questionnaire by Endler and Parker.
Results: The sample was characterized by low neuroticism, high extraversion, low openness and high conscientiousness in comparison with the general population. When faced with difficult situations, wrestlers exhibited avoidance-oriented coping style. Female wrestlers with high neuroticism and low conscientiousness preferred emotion-oriented coping. On the other hand, less agreeable female wrestlers were characterized by task-oriented coping. Moreover, male wrestlers with higher conscientiousness showed a preference for task-oriented coping as opposed to wrestlers with lower conscientiousness. Both, the more agreeable and less conscientious male wrestlers were characterized by emotion-oriented coping.
Conclusions: Personality traits within the sample group are significantly different from those in the general population. Personality is a good predictor for coping styles in wrestlers. An accurate diagnosis of the type of personality in early stages of training may help identify wrestlers’ tendency to develop less adaptive coping strategies, which is characteristic of more neurotic and less conscientious contestants.

Key words: coping styles, highly effective wrestlers, personality, stress, the national team