Do developmental differences in mental toughness exist between specialized and invested Australian footballers?
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NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Personality and Individual Differences. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 47 (2009). DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2009.08.001
Using a cross-sectional design, the primary purpose of the present study was to examine developmental differences in mental toughness between specialized and invested Australian footballers. A secondary purpose was to examine the psychometric properties of the Australian football Mental Toughness Inventory (AfMTI; Gucciardi, Gordon, & Dimmock, 2009a) with a sample of youth footballers. Participants were 350 footballers aged between 13 and 18 (M = 15.88; SD = 1.71); 144 (Mage = 14.06; SD = .89) and 206 (Mage = 17.02; SD = 1.06) footballers from the specialized and investment developmental stages, respectively. A confirmatory factor analysis of the AfMTI using AMOS did not reveal support for its psychometric structure; however, a revised version received support. A MANOVA revealed the presence of a significant difference between the two developmental groups, and follow-up ANOVA’s indicated that the desire success and sport awareness subscales contributed to multivariate effect. It appears that developmental differences should be considered in future theorizing on the development of mental toughness.
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