Development and preliminary validation of a mental toughness inventory for Australian football

Daniel F. Gucciardi*, Sandy Gordon, James A. Dimmock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This paper describes the development and preliminary evaluation of the Australian football Mental Toughness Inventory (AfMTI). Methods: Confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses were employed to explore the factor structure of a pool of items designed to capture the key components of mental toughness in Australian football [Gucciardi, D.F., Gordon, S., & Dimmock, J.A. (2008). Towards an understanding of mental toughness in Australian football. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 20, 261-281.] Correlations between the four-factor inventory and flow, resilience, and social desirability were examined. The discriminant validity of the inventory was also assessed. Multisource ratings (self, parent, and coach) of the AfMTI were examined in experiment two. Results: The AfMTI is a 24-item scale that measures four components of mental toughness in Australian football - thrive through challenge, sport awareness, tough attitude, and desire success. It was shown to have adequate internal reliability estimates across different raters (α = .70-.89). Moderate correlations with flow and resilience were evidenced, while minimal correlations existed with social desirability. Multisource data were somewhat equivocal; correlational data suggested a disagreement between raters, whereas an ANOVA suggested agreement between raters. Conclusions: Preliminary data on the factor structure, internal reliability, and construct validity of the AfMTI were encouraging. However, the factor structure, reliability, and validity of the AfMTI must be verified through further psychometric examinations before it can be considered a useful tool for measuring mental toughness in Australian football. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-209
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Exploratory factor analysis
  • Flow
  • Multisource ratings
  • Psychological skills
  • Questionnaire development
  • Resilience
  • Social desirability


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