Gender-specific socio-psychological and psychophysical profiles of indigenous sporting versus non-sporting groups

Dr.Biol., Professor A.B. Mulik1
Dr.Biol. M.V. Postnova2
PhD N.O. Nazarov3
I.V. Ulesikova4
PhD, Associate Professor Yu.A. Shatyr5
1Institute of Toxicology of Federal Medical-Biological Agency
2Volgograd State University, Volgograd
3Volgograd branch of LLC "KDL-DOMODEDOVO-TEST", Volgograd
4Kirov Military Medical Academy, St. Petersburg
5Volgograd State University, Volgograd

Keywords: socio-psychological health, psychophysical qualities, gender-specific socio-psychological health profiles, gender-specific psychophysical profiles, athletes, thermal sensitivity threshold, total unspecific stress tolerance.

Background. Popular conceptions of the modern sport effects on the individual mental health appear being limited by a standard range of qualities including willpower, determination, courage, concentration, patience, initiative, self-reliance etc. [1]. Some studies profile the athletes’ emotional health and their sport motivations [5, 6]; and it is not unusual that the mental health profiles of sporting individuals are found different from the unsporting ones. The modern sport psychology gives a special priority to the athletes’ gender-specific socio-psychological qualities albeit such studies have been still quite fragmental and focused mostly on the aggression breeding mechanisms and its manifestations [3, 4]. These are basically the reasons why we believe it could be beneficial to study, on an integrated and comprehensive basis, the socio-psychological and psychophysical qualities in uniform gender groups of sporting versus unsporting young people.

Objective of the study was to produce and analyze the gender-specific socio-psychological and psychophysical profiles of the sporting versus unsporting groups sampled in the indigenous communities of the Adygea Republic.

Methods and structure of the study. A questionnaire survey under the study was designed to rate the social and antisocial attitudes. Sampled for the study were the 19-25 year old clinically healthy students (n=237) of the Adygea State University’s Physical Education and Judo Institute majoring in the physical education and sport service (n=121); and students of the Arts Institute majoring in the Musical Culture and Arts (n=116).

The social/ antisocial/ destructive behavior in the sample was rated by the A.B. Mulik test method pending patenting (‘Socially sensitive individual qualities self-rating method’ by A.B. Mulik et al., Patenting Request #2015152633, Russian Federation). The social/ antisocial behavior tests are generally designed to stereotype the individual behaviors by responses to a variety of mental/ emotional stressors (‘Individual social/ antisocial behaviors rating method’ by A.B. Mulik et al., Patenting Request #2015153131, Russian Federation).  The socially sensitive qualities classifiable by the temperament/ character types and the individual mental health classes were also rated by the Lengard, Bass-Darky and V.V. Boyko standard mental test methods. Functionalities in the sample were rated by the total unspecific stress tolerance tests, with the thermal sensitivity threshold used for the total unspecific stress tolerance test data benchmarking. The individual thermal sensitivity threshold was found by a laboratory UgoBasile (Italy made) test system, with the subjects’ wrist put under a light beam with the thermal effect tolerance time (s) assumed as the thermal sensitivity threshold [2]. Note that the high, low and average total unspecific stress tolerance values correspond to the low, high and average thermal sensitivity threshold values, respectively.

Results and discussion. The first stage of the study was geared to obtain and analyze the socio-psychological health rates in the sporting and unsporting gender groups: see Table 1 hereunder.

Table 1. Socio-psychological health rates in the sporting and unsporting gender groups

Tested qualities

Groups

Males

Females

Sporting

Unsporting

Sporting

Unsporting

Social activity

5,52±1,47

5,12±1,78

5,67±1.04

5,37±1,54

Professional activity

5,94±1,87

5,93±1,69

6,12±1,33

5,59±1,43

Economic activity

5,29±1,59*

3,75±1,91

5,06±1,61#

4,09±1,59

Political activity

3,89±1,83

3,68±2,30

4,12±1,56#

3,13±1,67

Social destruction

2,36±1,59

2,25±2,29

2,54±1,52#

1,92±1,56

Antisocial qualities

0,44±0,43

0,46±0,38

0,40±0,37

0,39±0,39

Negative emotions

0,25±0,43

0,31±0,47

0,29±0,46

0,15±0,36

Manifested aggression

0,38±0,49

0,18±0,40

0,54±0,50#

0,29±0,45

Inhumanity

0,31±0,33

0,21±0,25

0,31±0,38

0,18±0,27

Self-rated sociopathy

0,44±0,49*

0,09±0,20

0,45±0,50#

0,24±0,36

Compassion

0,60±0,49

0,81±0,40

0,48±0,46#

0,70±0,45

Humanity

0,66±0,37

0,78±0,25

0,66±0,35#

0,78±0,28

Self-rated sociality

0,49±0,50*

0,75±0,36

0,54±0,50#

0,74±0,38

Note: *statistically significant male intergroup differences, p≤0.05; # statistically significant male intergroup differences, p≤0.05

The above data show the statistically significant difference between the male sporting and unsporting groups in the economic activity, self-rated sociopathy and sociality test rates. The female sporting and unsporting groups were found significantly different in the economic and political activity, social destruction, aggression and self-rated sociopathy values. The unsporting female group was tested with the highest kindness, compassion and self-rated sociality rates.  Further analysis of the inter- and intra-group differences found insignificant ones.

The functionality test rates showed a statistically significant dominance of the male versus female thermal sensitivity threshold values (p=0.001), and the unsporting female versus sporting female thermal sensitivity threshold values (p=0,042). The highest behavioral activity test rates were found in the sporting female group – higher than in the sporting males (p=0.002) and unsporting females (p=0.022): see Figure 1.

Figure 1. Total unspecific stress tolerance / thermal sensitivity threshold (s) rates in the gender sporting and unsporting groups versus the behavioral activity (points) test rates

The sporting males with their average total unspecific stress tolerance rates were tested with the sanguine temperaments, high stress tolerance and expressed left-hemispheric activity. The unsporting males and females with their average total unspecific stress tolerance rates were tested with the average temperaments, low stress tolerance and expressed right-hemispheric activity. The sporting females with their highest total unspecific stress tolerance rates were tested with mostly choleric temperaments, low stress tolerance, expressed right-hemispheric activity and the stable dominance of the sympathetic nervous system [2]

Conclusion

  • The survey data and analyses found insignificant intergroup differences in the socio-psychological profiles of the sporting versus non-sporting male groups.
  • Sporting females were tested with the higher social, professional, economic and political activity, aggressiveness and antisocial attitudes than their non-sporting peers.
  • The gender difference may be due to the male functionality being determined by normotonia and stress tolerance with the dominant left cerebral hemispheric activity – versus the prevailing sympathetic nervous system, dominant right cerebral hemispheric activity and expressed stress intolerance in the female groups.
  • The female sporting professionals are recommended special socio-psychological support service in their careers due to their relatively low stress tolerance and proneness to aggression and antisocial behaviors.

The study was supported by the RSRF and Volgograd Oblast Government under Project #15-16-34013 ‘Medical, psychological and social health service individualization in the key developmental, educational and professional self-identification stages’.

References

  1. Ilyin E.P. Psikhologiya sporta [Sports Psychology]. St. Petersburg: Piter publ, 2008. 352 p.
  2. Mulik A.B., Postnova M.V., Mulik Yu.A. Uroven obshchey nespetsificheskoy reaktivnosti organizma cheloveka [General non-specific body reactivity level]. Volgograd: Volgograd scient. publ., 2009. 224 p.
  3. Safronov V.K. Agressiya v sporte [Aggression in sports]. St. Petersburg: SPbU publ., 2003. 159 p.
  4. Micai M., Kavussanu M., Ring C. Executive Function is Associated With Antisocial Behavior and Aggression in Athletes.  Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 2015. Vol. 37(5). pp.469-476.
  5. Ruiz M.C., Haapanen S., Tolvanen A., Robazza C., Duda J.L. Predicting athletes' functional and dysfunctional emotions: The role of the motivational climate and motivation regulations. Journal of Sports Sciences.2016. Vol. 26. pp.1-9.
  6. Tamminen K.A., Palmateer T.M., Denton M., Sabiston C., Crocker PRE., Eys M., Smith B. Exploring emotions as social phenomena among Canadian varsity athletes. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 2016. Vol. 27. pp.28–38.

Corresponding author: mulikab@mail.ru

Abstract

Popular conceptions of the modern sport effects on the individual mental health appear being limited by a standard range of qualities including willpower, determination, courage, concentration, patience, initiative, self-reliance etc. Objective of the study was to produce and analyze the gender-specific socio-psychological and psychophysical profiles of the sporting versus unsporting groups sampled in the indigenous communities of the Adygea Republic. A questionnaire survey under the study was designed to rate the social and antisocial attitudes. Sampled for the study were the 19-25 year old clinically healthy students (n=237) of the ASU’s Physical Education and Judo Institute majoring in the physical education and sport service (n=121); and students of the Arts Institute majoring in the Musical Culture and Arts (n=116). The survey data and analyses found insignificant intergroup differences in the socio-psychological profiles of the sporting versus non-sporting male groups. Sporting females were tested with the higher social, professional, economic and political activity, aggressiveness and antisocial attitudes than their non-sporting peers. The gender difference may be due to the male functionality being determined by normotonia and stress tolerance with the dominant left cerebral hemispheric activity – versus the prevailing sympathetic nervous system, dominant right cerebral hemispheric activity and expressed stress intolerance in the female groups.