Master's Theses


Health and Human Performance

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this investigation was to compare the differences between collegiate female athletes to females majoring in professional competitive fields to (1) specific personality factors, (2) levels of competitiveness, and (3) differences in competitive levels with regard to classification year. Methods included discriminating the Big Five personality traits and competitive tendencies to ascertain if personality and competitiveness measures differed between, 23 female collegiate athletes and 27 female majors in traditionally competitive professions. Participants ranged from ages 18 through 43. Participants self-reported their individual demographics, personality traits, and levels of competitiveness through survey tests. The personality traits of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness were measured using the Big Five Inventory (BFI). Levels of competitiveness were measured by the Hypercompetitive Attitude Scale (HCA). Grouping for collegiate female athletes and female degree seeking competitive majors with regard to classification year was ascertained by implementing a demographic questionnaire. Independent t-tests and a one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was utilized to measure if significant differences were evident between collegiate female athletes and female degree seeking majors in professional competitive fields on the BFI personality traits, the HCA on competitiveness tendencies, and competitiveness regarding classification year. Results found no significant differences at the 0.05 level in the selected personality traits between the two groups under examination. The results of the HCA indicated a significant difference (M = 3.16 for the female athletes, M = 2.62 for females majoring in professional competitive fields). Female collegiate athletes were found to be significantly more competitive than the females majoring in professional competitive fields (p = 0.00). The results among the combined groups showed no significant difference existed between the participants with regard to classification year. Further research is needed to establish a greater understanding of the hypercompetitive tendencies between the two groups.


Dr. Duane Shepherd

Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type



© 2010 Terra Upham


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