Psychometric properties of the Mental Toughness Scale for Adolescents

Document Type : Original Article


Payam Noor university


Objective: The main purpose of the present study was to investigate psychometric properties of the Mental Toughness Scale for Adolescents (MTS-A, McGeown, Clair-Thompson & Putwain, 2016) among Iranian gifted adolescents. Methods: 300 gifted adolescents (150 male and 150 female) completed the Mental Toughness Scale for Adolescents and the Emotion Cognition Regulation Questionnaire (ECRQ, Garnefski, Kraaij & Spinhoven, 2001). The confirmatory factor analysis method and internal consistency were used to compute the MTSA's factorial validity and reliability, respectively. Also, in order to examine the construct validity of the MTS-A, we computed correlations between different dimensions of MTS-A with adaptive non-adaptive emotion cognition regulation strategies. Results: The results of confirmatory factor analysis based AMOS software showed that 6-factor structure of the challenge, commitment, control of emotions, control of life, confidence in abilities and interpersonal confidence in the Iranian gifted adolescents sample had good fit with data. Correlational analyses between multiple dimensions of the mental toughness with adaptive non-adaptive emotion cognition regulation strategies provided initial evidence for the MTS-A concurrent validity. Internal consistency for the challenge, commitment, control of emotions, control of life, confidence in abilities and interpersonal confidence components was 0/88, 0/90, 0/80, 0/91, 0/81 & 0/96, respectively. Conclusion: In sum, these findings provide evidence for the validity and reliability of the MTS-A as an instrument to measure of mental toughness among Iranian gifted adolescents.


Bell, J., Hardy, L., & Beattie, S. (2013). Enhancing mental toughness and performance under pressure in elite young cricketers: A 2-year longitudinal intervention. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 2, 281–
Bedard-Thom, C., & Guay, F. (2018). Mental toughness among high school students: a test of its multidimensionality and nomological validity with academic achievement and preference for difficult tasks. Social Psychology of Education, 21, 827–
Cowden, R. G. (2020). Mental Toughness Inventory: Factorial validity and ethnic group measurement equivalence in competitive tennis. Current Psychology, 39, 736–
Cowden, R. G., Clough, P. G., & Asante, K. O. (2017). Mental toughness in South African youth: Relationships with forgivingness and attitudes towards risk. Psychological Reports, 120(2), 271–
Clough, P., Earle, K., & Sewell, D. (2002). Mental toughness: The concept and its measurement. In I.M. Cockerill (Ed.), Solutions in sport psychology (pp. 32–43). Longon, England: Thompson.
Crust, L., & Azadi, K. (2010). Mental toughness and athletes’ use of psychological strategies. European Journal of Sport Science, 10(1), 43–
Crust, L., & Clough, P. (2011). Developing mental toughness: From research to practice. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 2, 21–
Dagnall, N., Denovan, A., Papageorgiou, K. S., Clough, P. J., Parker, A., & Drinkwater, K. G. (2019). Psychometric assessment of Shortened Mental Toughness Questionnaires (MTQ): Factor structure of the MTQ-18 and the MTQ-10. Frontiers in Psychology, 21 (10), 
d’Acremonta, M., & Van der Linden, M. (2007). How is impulsivity related to depression in adolescence? Evidence from a French validation of the cognitive emotion regulation questionnaire. Journal of Adolescence, 30, 271–
Garnefski, N., & Kraaij, V. (2006). Cognitive emotion regulation questionnaire – development of a short 18-item version (CERQ-short). Personality and Individual Differences, 41, 1045–
Garnefski, N., Kraaij, V., & Spinhoven, P. (2001). Negative life events, cognitive emotion regulation, and emotional problems. Personality and Individual Differences, 30, 1311–
Gerber, M., Brand, S., Feldmeth, A. K., Lang, C., Elliot, C., Holsboer-Trachsler, E., & Puhse, U. (2013). Adolescents with high mental toughness adapt better to perceived stress: A longitudinal study with Swiss vocational students. Personality and Individual Differences, 54,
Gerber, M., Feldmeth, A. K., Lang, C., Brand, S., Elliott, C., Nolsboer-Trachsler, E., & Puhse, U. (2015). The relationship between mental toughness, stress and burnout among adolescents: A longitudinal study with Swiss vocational students. Psychological Reports: Employment Psychology & Marketing, 117,
Gucciardi, D. F., Hanton, S., Gordon, S., Mallett, C. J., & Temby, P. (2015). The concept of mental toughness: tests of dimensionality, nomological network, and traitness. Journal of Personality, 83(1), 26–
Gucciardi, D. F., Hanton, S., & Mallett, C. J. (2012). Progressing measurement in mental toughness: A case example of the Mental Toughness Questionnaire 48. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 1,
Gucciardi, D. F., Zhang, C.-Q., Ponnusamy, V., Si, G., & Stenling, A. (2016). Cross-cultural invariance of the mental toughness inventory among Australian, Chinese, and Malaysian athletes: A Bayesian estimation approach. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 38(2), 187–
Gottfried, A. E., & Gottfried, A. W. (2004). Toward the development of a conceptualization of gifted motivation, Gifted Child Quarterly, 48, 121–
Kline, R. B. (2005). Principles and practices of Structural Equation Modeling (2nd Eds.). New York:
Kobasa, S. (1979). Stressful life events, personality, and health: An inquiry into hardiness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1–
Li, C., Zhang, C. Q., & Zhang, L. (2019). Further examination of the psychometric properties of the Mental Toughness Inventory: Evidence from Chinese athletes and university students. Current Psychology, 38, 328–
Marchant, D., Polman, R., Clough, P., Jackson, J., Levy, A., & Nicholls, A. (2009). Mental toughness: Managerial and age differences. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 24, 428–
Marsella, A. J. & Leong, F. T. L. (1995). Cross-cultural issues in personality and career assessment. Journal of Career Assessment, 3, 202–
McGeown, S., Clair-Thompson, H. S., & Putwain, W. (2016). The development and validation of a Mental Toughness Scale for Adolescents. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment,1, 1–
Meyers, L. S., Gamest. G., & Goarin, A. J. (2016). Applied multivariate research, design and interpretation. Thousand oaks. London. New Deihi, Sage publication. link
Papageorgiou, K. a., Gianniou, F. M., Wilson, P., Moneta, G. B., Bilello, D., Clough, P. J. (2019). The bright side of dark: Exploring the positive effect of narcissism on perceived stress through mental toughness. Personality and Individual Differences, 139,116–
Papageorgiou, K. A., Wong, B., & Clough, P. J. (2017). Beyond good and evil: Exploring the mediating role of mental toughness on the Dark Triad of personality traits. Personality and Individual Differences, 119, 19–
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,
Sagkal, A. S. (2019). Direct and indirect effects of strength-based parenting on adolescents’ school outcomes: Exploring the role of mental toughness. Journal of Adolescence, 6, 20–
Slack, L., Maynard, I., Butt, J., & Olusoga, P. (2015). An evaluation of a mental toughness education and training program for early-career English football league referees. Sports Psychologist, 29, 237–
Soylu, Y., Sa─čkal, A. S., & Özdemir, Y (2020). The effects of parent-classmate-teacher support on early adolescents’ school mental health: The mediating role of mental toughness. Contemporary School Psychology, 24,
Stamatis, A., Morgan, G. B., Papadakis, Z., Mougios, V., Bogdanis, G., & Spinou, A. (2019). Cross-cultural invariance of the mental toughness index among American and Greek Athletes. Current Psychology, 9,
Stamp, E., Crust, L., & Swann, C. (2019). Mental toughness and dietary behaviors in undergraduate university Students. Appetite, 142,
StClair-Thompson, H., Bugler, M., Robinson, J., Clough, P., McGeown, S. P., & Perry, J. (2015). Mental toughness in education: Exploring relationships with attainment, attendance, behavior and peer relationships. Educational Psychology, 35(7), 886–
Yankov, G. P., Davenport, N., & Sherman, R. A. (2019). Locating mental toughness in factor models of personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 151,