2012 Volume 10 Pages 1-11
The purpose of this study was to compare the level of Sense of Coherence (SOC) in athletes to that in non-athletes in a college population. Subjects were 716 students (315 males, 401 females; mean age 19.4±1.4 years; age range 18-37 years) from metropolitan colleges. SOC was measured by standard questionnaires (Antonovsky, 1987) including the Japanese version of the SOC-13 translated by Yamazaki (1999) which can also measure three sub-concepts of SOC, namely, senses of comprehensibility, manageability, and meaningfulness. The sports activities the subjects engaged in were also surveyed in terms of their affiliated athletic organizations, sporting events, frequency of play, successive years of play, and experience of playing sports. From the frequency of play at the time of survey, the subjects were categorized into three groups: high frequency sports activity (HFS), medium frequency sports activity (MFS), and Low frequency or No sports activity (LNS) groups. Additionally, from the number of successive years of play of their current sports, subjects were categorized into four groups: 0-2 years, 3-4 years, 5-9 years, and >10 years. Significant differences in SOC and meaningfulness scores were found between the HFS, MFS, and LNS groups (χ2=12.53, 11.80; both p<0.01). Significant differences in the SOC, meaningfulness, and comprehensibility scores were also found between the four duration groups (Z=3.68, 2.77, 3.19, p<0.001 or 0.01) with several sex differences. The results showed the possibility that sports activities related to SOC, and athletes possessed higher SOC than that of non-athletes. The findings suggested that experience of successive years of sport activities enhanced SOC. This hypothesis was discussed mainly in terms of General Resistance Resources (GRRs) and the three SOC sub-concepts.