Mental toughness as a psychological determinant of behavioral perseverance in special forces selection.

Daniel F. Gucciardi, Robin L.J. Lines, Kagan J. Ducker, Peter Peeling, Michael T. Chapman, Philip Temby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to conduct a conceptual replication of past work on the association between mental toughness and behavioral perseverance across multiple tasks over an extended period of time. We used a cross-sectional design including assessments of mental toughness and accumulated stress (hair cortisol concentration) prior to a Special Forces selection course spanning 3 weeks in duration. Participants self-reported their mental toughness and provided a sample of hair (1.5 cm) to capture accumulated stress over the 6 weeks prior to taking part in the selection course. A total of 122 military personnel provided complete data, of which 26 candidates (∼21%) passed the selection course. Bayesian structural equation modeling incorporating prior beliefs informed by past empirical work supported the hypothesis, whereby for a 1-unit increase in mental toughness, we would expect to see roughly a 68% increase in the odds of selection. These findings add to the growing body of research that has provided evidence for the salience of mental toughness for behavioral perseverance in tasks and activities of an enduring and demanding nature. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-175
Number of pages12
JournalSport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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