Personality profiles of junior handball players: Differences as a function of age, gender, and playing positions

Written by Dóra Kőnig-Görögh, Noémi Gyömbér, Zoltán Szerdahelyi, Nóra Laoues, Zsuzsa Olvasztóné Balogh, Anita Tóth-Hosnyánszki, Csaba Ökrös on . Posted in Special issue: Mental aspects of sport performance - Volume XXI, Nr 4


Dóra Kőnig-Görögh1,2,*, Noémi Gyömbér1, Zoltán Szerdahelyi2, Nóra Laoues2, Zsuzsa Olvasztóné Balogh2, Anita Tóth-Hosnyánszki1, Csaba Ökrös1

1 University of Physical Education, Budapest, Hungary
2 Faculty of Child Adult Education, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary


The major aim of the study was to evaluate the personality characteristics of Hungarian junior handball players (N =164) as a function of age (14-18 years old), gender, and playing positions (goalkeeper, backcourt player, playmaker, winger, pivot). We focused on specific personality characteristics based on the Big Five Questionnaire (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness). Our main findings showed that (1) female handball players scored higher in terms of conscientiousness and openness, (2) the younger the players were, the more they were characterized by high energy, friendliness and openness, but also by higher neuroticism, (3) goalkeepers scored (marginally) higher on the Agreeableness and Neuroticism scales compared to the other groups. Additionally, goalkeepers and backcourt players scored higher on the Agreeableness scale, while playmakers, pivots and backcourt players showed differences in terms of openness. From a research perspective, these results advocate for taking personality factors into account when studying sport performance, whereas, from an applied perspective, the results can be useful for coaches looking to improve their positions selection procedures and effective training methods.

Keywords: handball, playing positions, personality characteristics, Big Five Questionnaire



* Corresponding author:
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.