n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Personality profiles of recreational scuba divers - : biokinetics and sport science

Volume 16, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Although classified as an extreme sport, recreational scuba diving differs substantially from other forms of extreme sport. As a result, several researchers have theorized that scuba divers would display unique personality traits but little research has thus far been conducted regarding the issue. Previous investigations tended to group participants of different types of extreme sports together before conducting personality studies. The aim of the present study was to explore which personality traits are prevalent amongst recreational scuba divers. In order to control for extraneous variables such as the level of proficiency in scuba diving and the interrelation between individuals and their natural environment, it was decided to include entry-level divers from the same geographical area in the sample. Sixty divers participated in the study. A personality questionnaire, the Clinical Analysis Questionnaire Part I, was administered. Sten scores were used as units of analysis. Frequency tables revealed high scores on self-sufficiency, boldness and impulsivity and low scores on conformity, warmth and sensitivity. The findings indicated that divers' personality traits differ from what the literature indicated to be typical of the extreme athlete's personality profile. An exploratory factor analysis was performed and four personality types, namely the adventurer, the rationalist, the dreamer and the passive-aggressive macho diver were identified. The results suggested that the amount of high-risk behaviour displayed by the diver would be dependent upon his / her personality type.

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