MacNamara, Aine and Collins, David John
Development and initial validation of the Psychological Characteristics of Developing Excellence Questionnaire.
Journal of Sports Sciences, 29
The development of talent is a complex process mediated by a host of psychological, social, physical, and environmental variables. Unfortunately, the multiple processes involved in talent development are frequently ignored by the systems and protocols employed in sport. Modern approaches to talent development are beginning to stress the initial possession, then subsequent development, of generic psychological characteristics (e.g. psychological characteristics of developing excellence; MacNamara, Button, & Collins, 2010a, 2010b) as the best way to realize latent potential. Accordingly, this paper describes the development and initial validation of the Psychological Characteristics of Developing Excellence Questionnaire (PCDEQ). In the first phase, an initial list of 160 items was developed. A combination of expert panel reviews, cognitive interviews, and a pilot test was used to assess the relevance, representativeness, and validity of each item. Ninety-six items were retained following these steps. Exploratory factor analysis, with a sample of 363 athletes, revealed an interpretable 59-item, 6-factor solution with good internal consistency (0.870, 0.866, 0.847, 0.741, 0.749, and 0.701 respectively). The Psychological Characteristics of Developing Excellence Questionnaire would appear to hold promise as a useful tool to provide coaches and athletes with information about the psychological characteristics of developing excellence that are being properly addressed or neglected during different stages of development or in different contexts.