Computing and Library Services - delivering an inspiring information environment

Examining Dark Triad traits in relation to mental toughness and physical activity in young adults

Brand, Serge, Sabouri, Sarah, Gerber, Markus, Sadeghi Bahmani, Dena, Lemola, Sakari, Clough, Peter J., Kalak, Nadeem, Shamsi, Mahin and Holsboer-Trachsler, Edith (2016) Examining Dark Triad traits in relation to mental toughness and physical activity in young adults. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 12. pp. 229-235. ISSN 1178-2021

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (317kB) | Preview


The Dark Triad (DT) describes a set of three closely related personality traits: Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy. Mental toughness (MT) refers to a psychological construct combining confidence, commitment, control, and challenge. High MT is related to greater physical activity (PA) and, relative to men, women have lower MT scores. The aims of the present study were 1) to investigate the association between DT, MT, and PA, and 2) to compare the DT, MT, and PA scores of men and women.

A total of 341 adults (M=29 years; 51.6% women; range: 18–37 years) took part in the study. Participants completed a series of questionnaires assessing DT, MT, and PA.

Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy were all significantly associated with higher MT scores (rs =0.45, 0.50, and 0.20, respectively). DT traits and MT were associated with more vigorous PA. Compared to men, women participants had lower scores for DT traits (overall score and psychopathy), while no differences were found for MT or PA in both sexes.

DT traits, high MT, and vigorous PA are interrelated. This pattern of results might explain why, for instance, successful professional athletes can at the same time be tough and ruthless.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dark triad; Mental toughness; Physical activity; Young adults; Sex
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Peter Clough
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2017 08:38
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 15:39


Downloads per month over past year

Repository Staff Only: item control page

View Item View Item

University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH Copyright and Disclaimer All rights reserved ©