Degree Name

MS, Master of Science

Degree Type

Thesis - Open Access


Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems

Advisory Committee

Committee Chair - David Eccles

Committee Member - Beth Phillips

Committee Member - Gershon Tenenbaum




The purpose of this study was to examine mental toughness, deliberate relaxation (including muscle relaxation, autogenic relaxation, deep breathing, eastern relaxation, stretching, meditation, and imagery), sleep and the relationship between these constructs in athletes at various skill levels. A previous study showed a strong positive correlation between mental toughness and relaxation, one of many psychological skills (Crust & Azadi, 2009). It was hypothesized that there would be a positive relationship between mental toughness, engagement in relaxation activities, and the amount of sleep athletes get during a typical current training week. Fifty-five athletes were recruited for each of the following groups: recreational, college, and professional (total n = 165). Participants were asked to complete a Mental Toughness Questionnaire 48 (MTQ48; Clough, Earle, & Sewell, 2002) and a Deliberate Relaxation for Sport Survey created for the purpose of the study. The results partially supported the hypothesis as athletes at a higher skill level scored higher on the MTQ48, engaged in more relaxation activities, and got more sleep than athletes at lower skill levels. Future research using experimental design is necessary to examine the relationships in more detail.


Open Access