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Values are criteria by which people select and evaluate behavior. They have been widely addressed in mainstream psychology but not in sport psychology. The purpose of this research was to develop the Youth Sports Values Questionnaire (YSVQ) and identify the value systems that guide the behavior of adolescent athletes in sport. Qualitative and quantitative methods were combined to produce a 20-item questionnaire that was used to identify value priorities among 500 male and female participants aged between 12 and 16 years. Most important were enjoyment and personal achievement; least important was winning. Value rankings were consistent across subgroups based on gender, age, sport type, and level of performance. Limitations of structure and content are discussed, together with recommendations for future development.
Lee and Whitehead are with the Chelsea School Research Centre, University of Brighton, England. Nick Balchin is studying educational psychology at the University of Dundee, Scotland.