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The predictive validity of the MTQ48 for academic and athletic success in student-athletes

ABSTRACT The Mental Toughness Questionnaire-48 (MTQ48) is a widely used instrument that assesses mental toughness. There is limited psychometric validity established for the measure and researchers have questioned its predictive validity (Crust. 2007. Mental toughness in sport: A review. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 5(3), 270–290. https://doi.org/10.1080/1612197X.2007.9671836; Nicholls, Polman, Levy and Backhouse. 2009. Mental toughness in sport: Achievement level, gender, age, experience, and sport type differences. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(1), 73–75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2009.02.006). The current study evaluated the relationship between the MTQ48 and athletic excellence and academic performance in Division I athletes. The MTQ48 was administered to N = 245 student-athletes and was compared to grade point average (GPA) and to All-Conference honoree status. Results indicated that All-Conference student-athletes scored significantly higher on the Challenge subscale (p < .01). No other subscales predicted All-Conference status. Higher levels of Commitment and Life Control predicted higher GPAs. These results provide limited support for the predictive validity of three MTQ48 subscales. This study replicates the finding that the full scale MTQ48 does not predict athletic ability, and that the Interpersonal Control and Emotional Control subscales have poor internal consistency.