About the book
The goal of this book is to describe the concept of ‘Mental Toughness’ in such a way that the reader understands the concept and understands how it relates to the development of young people of all ages, whether they are in education or engage in extra-curricular activity. Such understanding is particularly important in the context of change and the challenge of preparing to live and work in a fast moving and fast changing world.
One of the greatest challenges facing society today is that of developing young people who are the future generators of wealth so that they can play a full and productive part in the economic and social development of the world they inhabit and will inhabit. The need for this is particularly acute in the West where the old order is fast disappearing. The purpose of education and youth work is not only to ensure that young people are skilled and qualified. It must also prepare young people with the attributes and qualities that enable them to apply what they have learned in a challenging, changing and often stressful world. A number of initiatives have recently emerged which all have the same goal – to prepare young people for life in a world that demands resilience, confidence, tenacity and commitment in addition to vocational and academic skills. Possible the most important of these initiatives is Mental Toughness which, arguably, embraces most, if not all, of the other initiatives in producing the most comprehensive and enduring approach.
‘Developing Mental Toughness in Young People is a fantastic collection of work edited by Doug Strycharczyk and Peter Clough. The topic of mental toughness is examined in immense detail. The authors have espoused the benefits of the mental toughness questionnaire for young people to enable them to achieve success in personal and professional life. The four C’s model of the mental toughness questionnaire MTQ48 – Control, Commitment, Challenge, and Confidence – provides a way of successfully managing the rapid pace of change in our world and increases feelings of self-efficacy and pride in what can be achieved using a performance measure. This is an ideal read particularly for school leaders, academic professionals, and, indeed, anyone who seeks to maximise their own potential and the potential of others. It encourages everyone to be “the best they can be” and embrace challenge, change, and opportunity. The struggle to work harder and smarter has not been addressed so profoundly anywhere else than within the pages of this superb book.’
Diane Estelle Nugent, BEd, MEd, (PQH:NI), Past-President Ulster Teachers’ Union, N. Ireland
‘This book is an essential part of the curriculum for anyone concerned with the wellbeing and potential of young people. It is equally applicable in formal and informal education settings such as youth work and youth justice. At this time of high competition for resources, it is ever more important to be able to demonstrate impact and show that interventions are effective. Key to this is selecting the right intervention in the first place. In this regard, the authors set out a coherent argument for the fundamental importance of understanding the mindset of the young and where they are on the spectrum between mental toughness and mental sensitivity.’
Dr Terry Ryall, former Chief Executive at vInspired, past Chief Executive at Girlguiding