Recent studies have shown that chronotype is associated with personality in adolescents. Other studies suggest that athletes are more conscientious, and that this personality trait is associated with higher academic performance among adolescents. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between personality, chronotype and academic performance in young athletes.
27 young athletes and 13 young non-athletes (13-16y) completed the Horne & Östberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ) and the NEO-PI-3. Grades were taken from their final report at the end of the school year (Mgrades=year-mean performance on the two main school subjects). First, T-tests were conducted to compare both groups on personality traits. Then, a moderation analysis was conducted using Hayes’ PROCESS Macro V3.4 to examine the moderation effect of the chronotype on the relationship between conscientiousness and Mgrades.
Results show that young athletes are significantly more conscientious (M=4748±11,67) than non-athletes (M=38,31±9,59) (t(38)=2,46,p=.019). Conscientiousness and chronotype were entered in a regression analysis to predict Mgrades. The addition of the interaction term between chronotype and conscientiousness, to the regression analysis, explained a significant increase in variance in Mgrades (ΔR2=.34, F(1,23)=19.38, p<.001). Therefore, when the score is inferior to 57.75 at the MEQ (toward evening type), conscientiousness and Mgrades are significantly related (β=0.28, t(23)=2.07, p=0.05).
These results show that the chronotype moderates the relationship between conscientiousness and academic performance in young athletes. Specifically, in more evening types, higher level of conscientiousness is associated with higher grades and lower level of conscientiousness is associated with lower grades. On the other hand, for more morning types, the level of conscientiousness is not associated with grades. These results suggest that conscientiousness may be a protective factor against the impacts of adolescence sleep changes and disturbances, on academic performance.