Assessing acceptance in mindfulness with direct-worded items: The development and initial validation of the Athlete Mindfulness Questionnaire

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APA Citation: 

Zhang, C. Q., Chung, P. K., & Si, G. (2015). Assessing acceptance in mindfulness with direct-worded items: The development and initial validation of the athlete mindfulness questionnaire. Journal of Sport and Health Science.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Conceptual
ACT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Athlete, Mindfulness, Reliability, Scale, Sport, Validity

The purpose of the current study was to develop and validate a sport-specific mindfulness measure, the Athlete Mindfulness Questionnaire (AMQ), through 5 related studies using 4 separate samples of Chinese athletes. The AMQ is a 3-factor measure designed to assess mindfulness that reflects present-moment attention, awareness, and acceptance in a sport context.

In Study 1, an initial pool of items was generated based on previous literature, existing mindfulness scales, as well as interviews with and feedback from the athletes, coaches, and mindfulness experts. Initial support for the 3-factor structure of the AMQ was established via exploratory factor analysis in Study 2, and cross-validated through confirmatory factor analysis in Studies 3 and 4. In Study 5, a modified 3-factor AMQ with direct-worded acceptance items was examined in a fourth independent sample.

Convergent and concurrent validities of the acceptance subscale failed to be established in Studies 3 and 4 which may be due to the inattention and confusion of the athletes whilst interpreting the reverse-worded items. A modified 16-item AMQ in Study 5 displayed satisfactory model fit and acceptable internal consistencies. Most importantly, convergent and concurrent validities of the 16-item AMQ were supported. The 3 subscales showed significant positive associations with mindfulness, flow, well-being, and positive affect and significant negative associations with experiential avoidance, burnout, and negative affect.

The AMQ is a psychometrically sound measure of mindfulness in a sport context. The importance of using direct-worded acceptance items is discussed.

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