Relationship Between Behavioural Profiles and Demographic Characteristics of Elite Distance Runners at High Altitude Training Centres in Nandi County, Kenya
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Behavioural profiling (DISC) is a new invention which has recently began to be used in sporting contexts. However, there is scanty information on quantitative data to support conclusions and recommendations. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between behavioural profiles and demographic characteristics of Kenyan elite middle and long-distance runners. The study hypothesized that there is no significant difference in behavioural profiles and demographic characteristics of age, gender, type of race and marital status of elite distance runners. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The study targeted a population of 600 elite middle- and long-distance Kenyan runners ranging from 800m to 10,000m races. Stratified random sampling placed athletes in respective races while simple random sampling was used to obtain the representative sample of 235 study participants with a return rate of 98.7%. A validated DiSC® Classic instrument that consisted of a five 5 - point Likert scale was used to collect data. Results revealed that majority of the athletes were aged between 22-30 years. The male distance runners were more than their female counterparts. The type of race recorded more athletes during training for 10,000m. Majority of the participants were single. Participants scored higher mean values in the dominance behavioural profile than the other influence, steadiness and compliance. A paired sample t – test examined behavioural profiles in relation to gender and marital status, results indicated a statistically significant difference in behavioural profiles of male and female distance runners as well as marital status. One-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) examined behavioural profiles in relation to age categories and type of race. Results showed no statistically significant difference in behavioural profiles across age categories and the type of race. In conclusion, gender and marital status are likely to have an impact on the DISC. However, age and type of race are not likely to have an impact on the DISC. Overall, this study recommends that AK should put strategies in place for potential athletes based on age categories, female, type of races and marital status to enrol and train for elite distance running. The study also recommends that athletic coaches, trainers and administrators need to incorporate behavioural profiling in order to help predict psychological orientations in relation to their demographic characteristics.