Examining the Psychometric Properties of the Mental Toughness Scale in High School Athletes


  • Leilani Madrigal California State University Long Beach
  • Sharon B. Hamill California State University San Marcos
  • Devan R. Romero California State University San Marcos
  • Kim Pulvers California State University San Marcos


mental toughess; high school; measurement; confirmatory factor analysis


The purpose of this research was to test the psychometric properties of the Mental Toughness Scale (MTS) among adolescent athletes.  Specifically, the factor structure, convergent and discriminant validity, and reliability of the MTS was examined in a sample of high school athletes (N = 333; mean age = 15.24 (1.06); 55.2% female; 49.8% Hispanic, 32.4% white) as part of a larger adolescent health survey. A Confirmatory Factor Analysis indicated the 11-item MTS was a poor fit; however, modifications were made to problematic items and the resulting 8-item version was a better fit yielding a unidimensional factor structure. Results provided support the 8-item MTS as a psychometrically sound measure demonstrating  high internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = .96), predicted relationships with self-esteem, personal responsibility and self-reliance (convergent validity), and lack of association with measures of shame, guilt, social commitment, height, weight, and GPA (divergent validity).  Although the reduced 8-item measure indicated a better fit with adolescent athletes, there may be semantic or structural changes to the problematic items that can be made. However, before abandoning the 11-item measure, further study is warranted, especially in regard to possible cognitive limations of youth athletes.


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