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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692On-line version ISSN 1806-9940


BARA FILHO, Maurício Gattás; RIBEIRO, Luiz Carlos Scipião  and  GARCIA, Félix Guillén. Comparison of personality characteristics between high-level Brazilian athletes and non-athletes. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2005, vol.11, n.2, pp.115-120. ISSN 1517-8692.

BACKGROUND: Comparison of psychological characteristics between athletes and non-athletes is one of the most explored topics in the personality study in sports. To find a possible personality profile for high-level athletes has been one of the main goals of researchers, studying and comparing samples of athletes with those of non-athletes. OBJECTIVE: To compare the personality profiles between Brazilian high-level athletes and non-athletes through psychological characteristics, verifying similarities and differences between them. METHODS: Two hundred and nine athletes (108 men and 101 women) from four sport modalities (volleyball, basketball, judo and swimming) and 214 non-athletes (169 men and 45 women) composed the study sample. The FPI-R (Freiburg Personality Inventory) was used to evaluate personality. RESULTS: Significant differences (p < 0.05) were found in eight out of the 12 FPI instrument variables: Inhibition, Irritability, Aggressiveness, Fatigability, Physical Complaints, Health Concern, Frankness, and Emotionality between athletes and non-athletes. When subgroups of athletes and non-athletes men and women were compared, the data indicated more generalities and small specificities in the differences between them, presenting significant differences (p < 0.05) in the eight variables previous mentioned, as well as in Self-satisfaction (p < 0.05). Finally, when non-athletes and athletes of team sports (volleyball and basketball) and individual sports (swimming and judo) were compared, once again significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed in the same variables and also in Self-satisfaction (p < 0.000) and Social Orientation (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: It is observed that there are specific and unique psychological characteristics of Brazilian high-level athletes when compared with a non-athletes sample. The groups are distinguished significantly in the majority of variables, indicating that athletes present differentiated psychological characteristics.

Keywords : Sports; Brazil; Psychology.

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