Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Deborah W. Wolf


The purpose of this study was to compare personality traits of female high school athletes to female collegiate athletes.

Eighty female athletes participated in the study. Forty-two of them competed at the high school level and thirty-eight participated at the college level. The high school subjects came from either Arcola, Casey/Westfield, or Charleston High School. The college athletes came from either Eastern Illinois University or Illinois State University. All athletes participated in either softball or basketball.

The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire was administered to each of the subjects. Following Cattell's recommendations, raw scores were used for statistical analysis. Form A answer sheets were hand scored by the investigator using the respective scoring keys provided with the test. Results were then totaled and values for each of the sixteen traits were assigned to each subject.

The SPSS (release 4) statistical package was used to calculate the mean scores, standard deviations, multivariate analysis of variance, and discriminant analysis. A .05 level of sifnificance was selected to determine whether the groups differed significantly.

The multivariate analysis of variance showed that there was a significant difference on two of the factors, intelligence and emotional control. The discriminant analysis showed that five personality factors best discriminate between the two groups. These factors are: (a) intelligence, (b) conscientiousness, (c) suspiciousness, (d) experimentalism, and (e) emotional control.

Therefore, the study concluded that there is a personality difference that exists among athletes who participate at the high school level and athletes who participate at the college level.