Progressing measurement in sport motivation with the SMS-6: A response to Pelletier, Vallerand, and Sarrazin

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Measurement in sport psychology is a major issue and attempts to progress measurement should be valued and encouraged. Construct validation is an ongoing process [Marsh, H. W., & Jackson, S. A. (1999). Flow experience in sport: Construct validation of multidimensional hierarchical state and trait responses. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 343–371] and the publication of the SMS-6 [Mallett, C. J., Kawabata, M., Newcombe, P., Otero-Ferero, A., & Jackson, S. A. (2007). Sports Motivation Scale-6 (SMS-6): A revised six-factor Sport Motivation Scale. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 8, 600–614] was an attempt to progress measurement in contextual sport motivation using self-determination theory (SDT) [Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behaviour. New York: Plenum Press]. Mallett et al. argued for the need to re-develop the Sport Motivation Scale (SMS) [Pelletier, L. G., Fortier, M. S., Vallerand, R. J., Tuson, K. M., Brière, N. M., & Blais, M. R. (1995). Toward a new measure of intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation in sports: The Sport Motivation Scale (SMS). Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 17, 35–53], primarily because the SMS did not measure integrated regulation, and secondly due to consistently reported problems with the lack of convergent and discriminant validity. Pelletier, Vallerand, and Sarrazin's [Pelletier, L. G., Vallerand, R. J., & Sarrazin, P. (2007b). Something old, something new, and something borrowed. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 8, 615–621] commentary on the SMS-6, focused on two legitimate questions: “Does the SMS need to be revised?”, and “Is the revised 6-factor SMS a better scale?” In addressing the first question, this article provides strong evidence that supports the arguments that the SMS does need revision. In addressing the second question, we provided sound arguments for the development of the SMS-6. However, we concluded that the superiority of the SMS-6 in measuring contextual sport motivation across diverse age and cultural groups is a question for future and continuing research. Further examination of the SMS-6 is necessary before such claims can be endorsed.

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