Measuring explicit attitude toward doping: Review of the psychometric properties of the Performance Enhancement Attitude Scale

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Objectives:Doping use is seldom an accident – it is a deliberate action often requiring considerable commitment. Attitudes are known to influence this type of action and hence they are likely to be predictive of doping-related behaviours. To measure ‘doping attitude’, a valid and reliable tool is required.Design:This paper briefly reviews methodological issues in doping attitude research, introduces the Performance Enhancement Attitude Scale (PEAS) and provides a comparative analysis of its reliability and validity as a self-reported measure of a generalized doping attitude.Methods:The scale's reliability was examined with Cronbach's internal consistency coefficient and test–retest correlations using data from 9 independent studies encompassing 7 years. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to assess the scale's structure. Known-groups’ validation strategy was employed to examine construct validity in 4 studies.Results:Estimates of the PEAS' internal consistency (ranged between .71 and .91 across various samples) provided good evidence of the scale's simultaneous reliability. The chi-square/df ratio in all cases was below the threshold with an average of 1.85 (ranging from 1.370 to 2.291), indicating an acceptable measurement model fit. Theoretically expected difference in doping attitudes was found between doping users and non-users with elevated PEAS scores from users, as well as predictable dynamics of PEAS scores across the repeated measures, provided support for construct validity of the scale.Conclusion:The psychometric properties of the 17-item unidimensional PEAS suggest that the scale is a useful tool for measuring self-declared attitudes toward doping, with adequate reliability and promising validity estimates. Suggestions are discussed for the continuous scale development and validation process.

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