Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

First Advisor

Dr. Daniel Smith


This study investigated differences in six sport specific personal characteristics as a function of skill level. The characteristics included competitive trait anxiety, trait self-confidence, concentration, mental preparation skills, achievement motivation, and leadership. A self-evaluation questionnaire was administered to students in beginning, intermediate, and advanced physical education activity classes at the State University of New York, College at Brockport. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multiple comparison test statistics were used to analyze differences for each of the six personal characteristics and a mental toughness composite score across the three groups of performers.

The results revealed significant differences in achievement motivation in favor of advanced performers over beginners, and advanced performers over intermediate performers. Advanced performers also made better use of their mental preparation skills than beginners. In the area of concentration, intermediate performers posted significantly better scores than beginners. Significant differences among and between the three skill-groups were not found for any of the other personal characteristics under investigation. The failure to find additional differences among the three groups of sport performers was explained by the fact that the questionnaires used to obtain the data were designed for the sport context, not a physical education environment.