Prof Peter CloughProfessor of Psychology

I joined MMU after a lengthy career at Hull University. At Hull, I was Head of Psychology on three occasions and also was Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching). I lead the departments' Knowledge Exchange activities.

Research Interests

I am interested in performance under pressure and performance enhancement. More specifically, I research in the area of Mental Toughness. I have written two books about this interesting concept and have produced numerous academic papers relating to my 4 'C' model. The research is carried out in partnership with a number of other institutions including: The University of Basle; University of Lincoln; University of Leeds, University of Newcastle and the University of Edinburgh. The work started in the sports domain, but is now extensively used in both business and education. Ongoing projects are looking at the possibility of enhancing mental toughness and the cognitive underpinnings of the 'mental toughness' advantage. The expertise gained is used to enhance student performance and employability within MMU.

Research Projects

  • 2012-2013: KTP Grant - £126,000
    “Developing and marketing psychometric instruments” - lead/only applicant
  • 2013: Novartis grant - £50,000
    Risk Management Project - lead applicant
  • 2011: Commercial research grant - £58,000
    Hull Kingston Rovers - with Dr Keith Earle and other SHES colleagues
  • 2010: Vivergo Bio Fuels (O.D.) grant - £30,000
    Mental Toughness Consultancy project - lead applicant
  • 2007: EPSRC grant - £571,217
    Physics based virtual environment for training in vascular interventional radiological procedures - co-investigator
  • 2005: £30,000 grant
    Humberside Police Murder Incident room evaluation - principal investigator

Professional Body Membership and Activity

I am both a Chartered Sport Psychologist and a Chartered Occupational Psychologist.

Research Outputs

Authored Books

Strycharczyk, D & Clough, P.J. (In press) Developing mental toughness in young people for the 21st century. Karnac: London

Clough, P.J. & Strycharczyk, D (2012) Developing memtal toughness: Improving performance, wellbeing and positive behaviour in others. Kogan Page:London

Book Chapters

Clough, P.J, Earle, F., Earle, K. and Perry, J.L. (In press) "Mental Toughness", in Strycharczyk D. & Elivin, C. (eds.) Developing Resilient Organisations. Kogan Page: London

Main, C.J., Watson, P.J., Clough, A.E. and Clough P.J. (In press) "Psychological aspects of Musculoskeletal Pain", in Oxford textbook of Musculoskeletal Medicine. Oxford University Press

Clough, P.J. & Strycharczyk, D (2012) "Mental toughness and its role in the development of young people", in C. Van Nieuwerburgh (ed.) Coaching in Education: Getting better results for students, educators and parents. Karnac: London

Clough, P.J. & Strycharczyk, D (2010) "Psychometrics in Leadership", in J. Passmore (ed.) Leadership Coaching. Kogan Page:London

Polman, R.J., Clough P.J. & Levy, A. (2010) "Personality and Coping in Sport: The Big Five and Mental Toughness", in A.R. Nicholls (ed.) Coping in Sport: Theory, Methods, and Related Constructs. New York: Nova Science Inc

Clough, P.J. & Strycharczyk, D (2008) "Developing reslience through coaching", in J. Passmore (ed.) Psychometrics in Coaching. Kogan Page: London

Journal Articles

Stamp, E., Crust, L., Perry, J. L., Swann, C., Clough, P. J., & Marchant, D. (In press) "Relationships between mental toughness and psychological wellbeing in undergraduate students", Personality and Individual Differences

De Marco, M., Clough, P.J. , Dyer, C.E., Vince, R.V., Waby, J.S. Midgely A.W. & Venerri, A. (In press) "Apolipoprotein E ?4 Allele Modulates the Immediate Impact of Acute Exercise on Prefrontal Function", Behaviour Genetics

Perry, J. L., Nicholls, A. R., Clough, P. J., & Crust, L. (in press) "Assessing model fit: Caveats and recommendations for confirmatory factor analysis and exploratory structural equation modeling", Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science
doi: 10.1080/1091367X.2014.952370

Brand S, Kalak N, Gerber M, Clough PJ, Lemola, S, Pühse U, Holsboer-Trachsler E. (In press) "During early and mid-adolescence, greater mental toughness is related to increased sleep quality and psychological functioning", Journal of Health Psychology

Perry, J.L., Clough, P.J., Nicholls, A and Crust, L. (In press) "Development and Validation of the Compliant and Principled Sportspersonship", Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

St Clair-Thompson, H., Bugler, M., Robinson, J., Clough, P. J., McGeown, S., & Perry, J. L. (in press) "Mental toughness in education: Exploring relationships with attainment, attendance, behaviour and peer relationships", Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology

Crust, L., Earle, K., Perry, J. L., Earle, F., Clough, A. E., & Clough, P. J. (2014) "Mental toughness in higher education: Relationships with achievement and profession in first-year university sports students", Personality and Individual Differences, 69, 87-91
doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2014.05.016

Nicholls, A.R., Perry, J.L., Jones, L., Sanctuary, C., Carson, F., & Clough, P.J. (in press) "The mediating role of mental toughness in sport", Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness

Jackson, J.G., Coyne, I.J. & Clough, P.J. (in press) "A preliminary investigation of potential cognitive performance decrements in non-help-seeking tinnitus sufferers", International Journal of Audiology

Brand S, Gerber M, Kalak N, Kirov R, Lemola S, Clough P.J., Pühse U, Holsboer-Trachsler E. (in press) "Adolescents with greater mental toughness show higher sleep efficiency, more deep sleep and fewer awakenings after sleep onset", Journal of Adolescent Health

Brand S, Gerber M, Kalak N, Kirov R, Lemola S, Clough PJ., Pühse U, Holsboer-Trachsler E. (in press) "'Sleep well, our tough heroes!' – In adolescence, greater mental toughness is related to better sleep schedules", Behavioral Sleep Medicine

Perry, J.L., Clough, P.J., Crust, L., Earle, K., & Nicholls, A.R. (2013) "Factorial validity of the Mental Toughness Questionnaire-48", Personality and Individual Differences?, 54, 587-592

Perry, J.L., Clough, P.J., & Crust, L. (2013) "Psychological approaches to enhancing fair play", Athletic Insight, 5

Clough, P.J., Earle, K., Perry, J.L., & Crust, L. (2012) "A response to 'Progressing measurement in mental toughness: A case example of the mental toughness questionnaire 48' by Gucciardi, D., Hanton, S., & Mallett, C.", Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology, 1, 283-287

Gerber, M., Kalak, N., Lemola, S., Clough, P.J., Perry, J.L., Pühse, U., Elliot, C., Holsboer-Trachsler, E. & Brand, S. (2012) "Are adolescents with high mental toughness levels more resilient against stress?", Stress and Health, 29, 164-171
doi: 10.1002/smi.2447?

Gerber, M, Kalak, N, Lemola, K, Clough, P.J., Pühse, U, Holsboer-Trachsler, E, Elliot, C. & Brand, S. (2012) "Adolescents' exercise and physical activity are associated with mental toughness", Mental Health and Physical Activity, 5, 35-42

Dewhurst, S.A., Anderson, R.J., Cotter, G., Crust, L., & Clough, P.J. (2012) "Identifying the cognitive basis of mental toughness: Evidence from the directed forgetting paradigm", Personality & Individual Differences, 53, 587-590

Johnson. S.J., Guediri, S.M., Kilkenny, C. & Clough P.J. (2011) "Development and validation of a virtual reality simulator: human factors input to interventional radiology training", Human Factors, 53,612-615

Crust, L and Clough, P.J. (2011) "Developing Mental Toughness: From Research to Practice", Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 2, 21-32

Clough, A. Clough, P.J., Kelly, I. & Earle, F. (2011) "Rugby players and whiplash: Where are all the cases?", British Journal of Sports Medicine, 5, 4,339-340

Perry, J. L., & Clough, P. J. (2011) "Sportspersonship: Doing things right or doing the right thing?", Journal of Sports Sciences, 29, S1-S132

Rihvk, I., Clough, A. & Clough, P.J. (2010) "Investigation to compare static stretching and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation contract-relax stretching effects on the visco-elastic parameters of the biceps femoris muscle", International Musculoskeletal Medicine, 32, 4, pp. 157-162(6)

Capra, G., Clough, A & Clough, P.J. (2010) "Clinical tests for the sacro-iliac joint: a literature review", International Musculoskeletal Medicine, 32, 4, 173-17

Chinn, N.E, Clough, A. & Clough, P.J. (2010) "Does therapeutic ultrasound have a clinical evidence base for treating soft tissue injuries?", International Musculoskeletal Medicine, 32, 4,178-18

Marchant, D., Polman, R., Clough, P.J., Jackson, J.G., Levy, A., & Nicholls, A.R. (2009) "Mental toughness: Managerial and age differences", Journal of Managerial Psychology, 24(5), 428-437

Nicholls, A.R., Hemmings, B., & Clough, P.J. (2009) "Stressors, coping, and emotion among international adolescent golfers", Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 20, 2, 346-35

Marchant, D. C., Clough, P. J. & Crawshaw, C.M., Levy, A. (2009) "Novice motor skill performance and task experience is influenced by attentional focusing instructions and instruction preferences", International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 7, 488-500

Levy, A., Polman, R.C.J., & Clough, P.J. (2008) "Adherence to sport injury rehabilitation programs: An integrated psycho-social approach", Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport, 18, 798-809

Earle, K., Earle, F., & Clough, P.J. (2008) "Mental toughness and its application for golfers", Sport & Exercise Psychology Review, Vol. 4, No2, 43-51

Conference Presentations

Clough, P. (2014) "Use of Mental Toughness for coaching", invited speaker at NHS Wirral and Merseyside Coaching Conference

Clough, P. (2012) "Introduction to Mental Toughness: research and application", invited speaker at International Conference on Instructional Coaching, University of Kansas, 15-17 October

Clough, P. (2012 "Mental Toughness and outdoor learning: a natural synergy", keynote address at Institute for Outdoor Learning Biennial Conference, 12 October

Perry, J. L., & Clough, P. J. (2012) "Reinventing sportspersonship: The development and testing of a compliant and principled model", British Psychological Society, Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (pp.2). London: BPS

Perry, J. L., Clough, P. J., Crust, L., Earle, K., & Nicholls, A. R. (2012) "Factorial validity of the Mental Toughness Questionnaire-48", British Psychological Society, North East North West Annusal Conference. Manchester: BPS

Midgley, A.W., Earle, F., Earle, K., Clough, P. (2012) "Exercise tolerance during cardiopulmonary exercise testing", ACSM Annual Conference

De Marco M, Clough PJ, Dyer CE, Midgley AW, Venneri A. (2012) "Short-Term Aerobic Exercise Selectively Affects Prefrontal-Dependent Cognition". Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society, Grand Connaught Rooms, London, 18-20 April

Clough, P. (2012) "Coaching applications of the Mental Toughness Questionnaire-48", keynote address at Innovations in Coaching Conference, Napier University/ILM, 18 April

Clough, P. (2011) "Mental Toughness in Dubai: an exciting start!", keynote address at Opening of the Centre for Mental Toughness in Education in the UAE, Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai

Clough A., Kelly I., Horne J., Earle F., Clough P.J., Earle K., (2011) "Rugby League and Whiplash: Where are all the Cases?" Accepted for poster presentation, International Olympic Committee World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport 7-9 April

De Marco M, Clough PJ, Dyer CE, Venneri, A. (2010) "Test Run for ApoE ?4: Genetic Differences, Stress Response and Their Effects on Prefrontal Cognition". Poster presented at the Yorkshire Network Annual Scientific Meeting, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Sheffield, Wednesday 8 December

Earle.F., Reid, T. & Clough.P.J. (2010) "'Always waiting for the phone to ring...' On-call working and its impact on the individual", IWP Conference on Work, Well-being and Performance: Conference Published Proceedings, 58-59

Earle, F., Reid, T., & Clough, P.J. (2010) "Anxiety and fatigue in on-call workers", European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology: Annual conference Published Proceedings, 173

Reid, T.,Earle, F., & Clough, P.J. (2010) "Attitudes to on-call working and impact on family life", European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology: Annual conference Published Proceedings, 264-5

Clough.A., Chinn N., Sheridan M., Earle F., Clough P.J (2009) "Whiplash Associated Disorder The impact of psycho-social factors & outstanding compensation claims in self-reports of severity of treatment success", Award winning poster presentation, Spine Congress, Rome

Marchant, D., Levy, A., Jackson, J., Clough, P.J. (2008) "Exercise dependence symptoms influence recreational exercisers’ behavior and anxiety responses in a naturalistic exercise setting", BPS Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology Inaugural Conference, London

Current Teaching Input

I contribute to a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules including:

  • Coaching Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Employability

I have supervised 9 PhDs and numerous other postgraduate students to completion.

Peter Clough

Research Centre

Health, Rehabilitation and Psychology


Department of Psychology
Birley Building
Birley Fields Campus
53 Bonsall Street
M15 6GX

Tel: 0161 247 2525