Research carried out by Sophie Hopper from Leeds Metropolitan University has shown that ‘Type D’ personalities are more likely to take up individual non-contact sports such as running.
Type D (or “Distressed”) personalities are typically anxious, irritable, insecure, and socially inhibited, and tend to use maladaptive coping strategies (resignation / withdrawal) when faced with stressful situations.
Questionnaires focussing on personality traits and coping strategies were completed by 334 students, and the study showed no difference in prevalence of Type D personality between the sexes.
Sophie commented that the research would assist coaches and sports psychologists to help athletes with a Type D personality develop more effective coping strategies. We could argue that running is a coping strategy that Type D personalities use to deal with life stresses, and can think of many a great athlete who would dispute that their personality type has been a disadvantage to them.
Also on the plus side, Type D personalities are usually very supportive of others and may be the champion of the “underdog”. They often provide a shoulder to cry on. They tend to be compassionate and content with themselves and life in general, and favour punctuality and consistency.