Date of Award


Publication Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

N. McNevin

Second Advisor

L. Buchanan

Third Advisor

S. Scharoun-Benson


Athletes, Coach, Five factor model, Individual sports, Personality traits, Team sports




Background: Though the relationship between the personality traits (PTs) of the Five Factor Model (FFM) and athletic performance is well documented, the functional role of PTs in athletic team settings has received scarce empirical attention. The limited research that has been conducted is often criticized for methodological flaws, such as failure to differentiate between sports (e.g., Team vs. Individual Sports).

Objective: To investigate the functional impact of personality on Team and Individual Sport performance in sport-specific settings. The principal objective was to investigate the distinct functional role of the FFM PTs and their influence on team success, based on type of PTs, and the similarity or variance of these PTs among team members. It was anticipated that teams with more similarity in certain PTs (e.g., Agreeableness, Neuroticism) and more variance in others (e.g., Extraversion, Conscientiousness) will lead to optimized team success, evident by objective — Win-Loss percentage or competitive rankings — and subjective measures — coach ratings.

Results: Statistically significant relationships were revealed between the FFM PTs and the five variables of coach ratings. The results indicate that both coach and athlete personality play a part in athletic success. Furthermore, regardless of sport type, Conscientiousness appears to be an advantageous PT in the recruitment and selection of athletes. Specific to Team Sports, Conscientiousness and Openness are two prominent PTs in promoting athletic success. The findings have several implications on the selection and recruitment process of athletes and provide empirical evidence for athlete interventions across sport types.

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Psychology Commons