Quality of Youth Sport Friendships: Measurement Development and Validation

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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Maureen R. WeissUniversity of Virginia

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Alan L. SmithPurdue University

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The role of peers has been neglected in research on youth psychosocial development in sport. The purpose of the present study was to develop and validate a measure of youth sport friendship quality for the purpose of facilitating such research. Dimensions and higher order themes found in Weiss, Smith, and Theeboom’s (1996) qualitative study of sport friendships among children and adolescents, as well as a core set of items from previous research (Parker & Asher, 1993), were used to develop and refine items for a sport friendship quality scale. Over the course of three studies, content, factorial, and construct validity, as well as internal consistency and test-retest reliability, were demonstrated for the Sport Friendship Quality Scale (SFQS). Future research is recommended to examine the role of children’s sport friendship quality on psychosocial development in the physical domain.

Maureen R. Weiss is with the Health and Physical Education Program Area, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903. Alan L. Smith is with the Department of Health, Kinesiology and Leisure Studies, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

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