Mental Toughness

What is Mental Toughness?

Mental Toughness describes the mind-set that every person adopts in everything they do. It is closely related to qualities such as character, resilience, grit, etc. It is defined as:

“Mental Toughness is a personality trait which determines in large part how people deal with challenge, stressors  and pressure …. irrespective of prevailing circumstances”

Published research and case studies from around the world show that Mental Toughness is a major factor in:

  • Performance – explaining up to 25% of the variation in performance in individuals
  • Positive Behaviour – more engaged, more positive, more “can do”
  • Wellbeing – more contentment, better stress management , less prone to bullying
  • Aspirations – more ambitious, prepared to manage more risk

Mental Toughness in Education Video


Research carried out under the direction of Professor Peter Clough of Manchester Metropolitan University has identified the four key components of Mental Toughness. These are called the 4 Cs. This research has now been independently validated through studies in Canada, Italy as well as the UK.



How can we assess Mental Toughness?

We are also able to assess mental toughness through a unique 48 item high quality psychometric measure –  MTQ48.

It is normative which enables users to assess mental toughness before and after an event such as a training & development or coaching programme.

Can we develop Mental Toughness?

We can. We can either help someone change their mental toughness or we can show someone how to adopt the behaviours that a mentally tough person would adopt. Either way many of the benefits of developing mental toughness can be achieved. We have a programme of interventions which suits all applications in order to develop a high performing team

Click here to see our Rival Survival Team Building activity


In Summary

AQR’s work means that we now have:

  • The ability to define and describe an important aspect of our personality – Mental Toughness
  • A concept which is accessible to everyone and which helps to explain performance, wellbeing and behaviour
  • The first psychometric measure which measures an individual’s Mental Toughness – it is valid & reliable.
  • A Mental Toughness Development programme which delivers measurable results.

The result is a complete package which has valuable applications in the social, health, educational and occupational worlds. It applies to every aspect of developing and maintaining human capital.

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