Mental Toughness at the BASES Student Conference

The most recent member of the MTOUGH team recently attended and presented her work at the BASES student conference. Below, Lizzie Stamp gives a brief overview of her experiences.

On Tuesday 8th – Wednesday 9th of April the Annual BASES Student Conference ‘Putting the pieces together’ was held at the University of Portsmouth. This provided me the first opportunity to present at an external conference. The 2-day event was a very good experience allowing students from Universities across the country to share their work with like-minded people, increase knowledge through the wide range of workshops available, and listen to a variety of keynote speakers.

A keynote talk which particularly caught my attention was an engaging account from the Great Britain rower Katherine Grainger. Katherine shared her challenging journey comprised of commitment and determination to persevere through set-backs, such as not being selected for the university rowing team, to how she achieved her goal of becoming an Olympic gold medalist. Maybe it was an element of mental toughness which allowed Katherine to have the confidence to overcome challenges and achieve her dreams?

On the second day I presented a quantitative study investigating the influence of mental toughness on lifestyle choices in University students. Surveys were distributed to students attending six Universities across the U.K. assessing mental toughness and lifestyle choices. Findings revealed mental toughness to be positively correlated with healthy lifestyle behaviours when studying at University. Mental toughness was identified to account for small but significant variation in physical activity participation, barriers to exercise, and eating identity. Additionally, relationships appeared stronger for women than for men.

On the whole, the combination of presentations, keynote speakers and workshops made the 2014 Annual BASES Student Conference an enjoyable event to deliver my first presentation, providing a valuable experience.

Lizzie Stamp (PhD Student)