Personality Differences in American versus European Professional Hockey Players

Janice Autera, Kean University, USA

Theme: Aggression, violence, and moral behavior

Poster Number: 77

Program ID: POS-2

Presentation: October 4, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


Currently, little research exists on personality of professional athletes and differences across culture. When compared to the national population National Hockey League players have been found to show greater emotional intelligence, self-awareness, emotional management and stress tolerance, and an elevated general mood (Perlini & Halverson, 2006). As a whole, team sport athletes have been found to score higher on measures of sociability, aggression, hostility, and lower on neuroticism, anxiety, and impulsive sensation seeking than a general college population (O’Sullivan, Zuckerman, & Kraft, 1998). Golby and Sheard (2004) examined differences among athletes playing at different competitive levels and found higher level athletes exhibit greater characteristics of commitment, control, and challenge hardiness and greater negative energy control and attention control indicative of mental toughness. The current study aims to look further into personality characteristics of hockey players. The present study examines differences in personality of professional hockey athletes from the United States and Canada in comparison to those from European countries. It was hypothesized that Americans and Canadians would exhibit statistically greater levels of personality characteristics including perfectionism and dominance and lower levels of warmth as compared to Europeans. 1465 draft eligible hockey players including 17/18 year-old high school students, college students, and various junior leagues in America, Canada, and a number of European countries were administered the 16pf across several years. A t-test analysis comparing 16 personality factors among hockey players from a number of countries reveals Europeans exhibit significantly lower levels of personality characteristics including reasoning, liveliness, rule-consciousness, social boldness, and perfectionism and greater warmth, sensitivity, vigilance, abstractedness, privateness, and openness to change as compared to Americans and Canadians. There were no statistical differences on characteristics of emotional stability, dominance, apprehension, self-reliance, and tension. In addition, implications for European players in adjusting and integrating to playing in America will be discussed.

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