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Convergent Validity of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents

Kent C. Kowalski, Peter R.E. Crocker, and Nanette P. Kowalski

This study assessed the convergent validity of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A). The PAQ-A is a modified version for high school students of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQC). The PAQ-A is a 7-day recall used to assess general physical activity levels during the school year. Eighty-five high school students in Grades 8 through 12 filled out the PAQ-A and other physical activity measures. The PAQ-A was moderately related to an activity rating (r = .73), the Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire (r = .57), a Caltrac motion sensor (r = .33), and the 7-day physical activity recall interview (r = .59). The results of this study support the convergent validity of the PAQ-A as a measure of general physical activity level for high school students.

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Development and Validation of the Coping Function Questionnaire for Adolescents in Sport

Kent C. Kowalski and Peter R.E. Crocker

Two studies reported the development and validation of the Coping Function Questionnaire (CFQ) for adolescent sport participants. The purpose of the first study was to develop the CFQ and conduct preliminary item and scale analyses. The result was an 18-item CFQ, which assessed problem-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidance coping function. In the second study, confirmatory factor analysis with data from 344 male and 339 female adolescent sport participants showed the CFQ measurement model to be acceptable for both genders. Simultaneous group analysis demonstrated gender invariance for the CFQ measurement model. Convergent and divergent validity was supported by correlations between the CFQ and select coping scales from the COPE, the sport-modified COPE, and Life Situations Inventory. The CFQ appears to be a promising step toward measurement of coping function in adolescent sport samples.

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Validation of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children

Kent C. Kowalski, Peter R.E. Crocker, and Robert A. Faulkner

Two studies assessed the validity of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C), a 7-day recall that assesses general moderate to vigorous physical activity levels during the school year. The first study, involving 89 elementary school students in Grades 4–8, investigated convergent, divergent, and construct validity. The PAQ-C was moderately related to an activity rating (r = .63), week summation of 24-hr moderate to vigorous activity recalls (r = .53), a teacher’s rating of physical activity (r = .45), and perceptions of athletic competence (r = .48). As expected, the PAQ-C was not related to perceptions of behavioral conduct. The second study, involving 97 elementary school students, investigated convergent and construct validity. The PAQ-C was moderately related to an activity rating (r = .57), the Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire (r = .41), a Caltrac motion sensor (r = .39), a 7-day physical activity recall interview (r = .46) and a step test of fitness (r = .28). The PAQ-C validity coefficients were as high as or greater than the 7-day recall interview. These two studies support the validity of the PAQ-C as a method of assessing older children’s general physical activity levels.

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Feasibility of Using the Tritrac Motion Sensor Over a 7-Day Trial with Older Children

Peter R.E. Crocker, Darryl R. Holowachuk, and Kent C. Kowalski

This study assessed the feasibility of the Tritrac-R3D motion sensor over a 7-day period with 79 children in Grades 4–8. Eight sets of data were lost due to instrument breakdown or data downloading software problems. Despite daily telephone reminders and school visits, most participants reported problems with wearing the motion sensors, including forgetting to put the sensor on, physical discomfort, involvement in aquatics, public embarrassment, and not being allowed to wear the sensors during organized sport. The results also showed that the Tritrac scores were strongly correlated with Caltrac scores (r = .86) but were not significantly correlated to a 7-day interview recall (PAR) and a 7-day self-report of activity (PAQ-C). The two self-report measures were moderately related. These findings question the viability of the Tritrac to assess typical physical activity over extended periods in this population.

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Exploring the Relationship Between Mental Toughness and Self-Compassion in the Context of Sport Injury

Karissa L. Johnson, Danielle L. Cormier, Kent C. Kowalski, and Amber D. Mosewich

Helping athletes cope effectively with injury is likely of great interest to many sport stakeholders. Mental toughness is one psychological factor positively associated with resilience and sport performance, though stubborn persistence through injury might not always be conducive to adaptive athlete outcomes. Self-compassion—a balanced, nonjudgmental approach in relating to oneself when experiencing suffering—might help circumvent these pitfalls and complement injury recovery. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between mental toughness and self-compassion in a sport injury context. This study consisted of 2 phases—phase I quantitatively assessed the relationships between mental toughness, self-compassion, and other psychological constructs, while phase II used qualitative interviews to corroborate and inform these findings. In phase I, competitive athletes who were injured at the time of data collection (n = 81) completed mental toughness, self-compassion, coping resources, self-esteem, and self-criticism questionnaires. Self-compassion was positively correlated with mental toughness (r = .48, P < .01), coping resources (r = .54, P < .05), and self-esteem (r = .60, P < .01). Self-compassion and self-criticism were negatively correlated with each other (r = –.52, P < .01). Results from hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that self-compassion was a significant predictor of mental toughness (ΔR 2 = .07, P < .01), coping resources (ΔR 2 = .10, P < .01), and self-criticism (ΔR 2 = .06, P < .01), beyond the effects of self-esteem. Four injured athletes who scored above the median on mental toughness and self-compassion measures were interviewed in phase II. Thematic analysis generated 2 themes: (1) self-compassion grants access to wise mental toughness and (2) mental toughness helps activate self-compassionate actions during injury. These findings are consistent with recent research and suggest that both mental toughness and self-compassion can work together to help athletes cope with sport injury.

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Self-Compassion in the Stress Process in Women Athletes

Amber D. Mosewich, Catherine M. Sabiston, Kent C. Kowalski, Patrick Gaudreau, and Peter R.E. Crocker

While self-compassion presents as a viable resource for managing difficult events in sport, little is known about how it functions in the stress process. In 2 studies with women university athletes (N = 122 and 131), the authors examined self-compassion as a prospective predictor of appraisal, coping, goal progress, and affect in a competition. Direct and indirect effects of self-compassion on aspects of the stress process were examined by testing full, partial, and moderated mediation models. Self-compassion plays a direct and indirect role in the stress process of competitive women athletes. Self-compassion significantly predicted higher control appraisals (Studies 1 and 2) and lower threat appraisals (Study 1), which explained coping tendencies of self-compassionate athletes. Sequential pathways linking appraisals and coping accounted for why athletes with higher self-compassion are more likely to have higher goal progress, more positive affect, and less negative affect. Overall, self-compassion promotes adaptive appraisals and coping.

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Self-Compassion: A Potential Resource for Young Women Athletes

Amber D. Mosewich, Kent C. Kowalski, Catherine M. Sabiston, Whitney A. Sedgwick, and Jessica L. Tracy

Self-compassion has demonstrated many psychological benefits (Neff, 2009). In an effort to explore self-compassion as a potential resource for young women athletes, we explored relations among self-compassion, proneness to self-conscious emotions (i.e., shame, guilt-free shame, guilt, shame-free guilt, authentic pride, and hubristic pride), and potentially unhealthy self-evaluative thoughts and behaviors (i.e., social physique anxiety, obligatory exercise, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation). Young women athletes (N = 151; M age = 15.1 years) participated in this study. Self-compassion was negatively related to shame proneness, guilt-free shame proneness, social physique anxiety, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation. In support of theoretical propositions, self-compassion explained variance beyond self-esteem on shame proneness, guilt-free shame proneness, shame-free guilt proneness, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation. Results suggest that, in addition to self-esteem promotion, self-compassion development may be beneficial in cultivating positive sport experiences for young women.

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Applying Self-Compassion in Sport: An Intervention With Women Athletes

Amber D. Mosewich, Peter R.E. Crocker, Kent C. Kowalski, and Anita DeLongis

This study investigated the effects of a self-compassion intervention on negative cognitive states and selfcompassion in varsity women athletes. Athletes who self-identified as being self-critical were randomly assigned to a self-compassion intervention (n = 29) or attention control group (n = 22). The self-compassion intervention consisted of a psychoeducation session and writing components completed over a 7-day period. Measures of self-compassion, state self-criticism, state rumination, and concern over mistakes were collected pretreatment, at 1 week posttreatment, and at a 4-week follow-up. A mixed factorial MANOVA with follow-up post hoc tests demonstrated moderate-to-strong effects for the intervention at posttest and follow-up (Wilks’s Λ = .566, F (8, 42) = 4.03, p < .01, η2 = .43). The findings demonstrate the effectiveness of the self-compassion intervention in managing self-criticism, rumination, and concern over mistakes. Fostering a self-compassionate frame of mind is a potential coping resource for women athletes dealing with negative events in sport.

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Exploring Self-Compassion and Eudaimonic Well-Being in Young Women Athletes

Leah J. Ferguson, Kent C. Kowalski, Diane E. Mack, and Catherine M. Sabiston

Using a mixed methods research design, we explored self-compassion and eudaimonic well-being in young women athletes. In a quantitative study (n = 83), we found that self-compassion and eudaimonic well-being were positively related (r = .76, p < .01). A model of multiple mediation was proposed, with self-compassion, passivity, responsibility, initiative, and self-determination accounting for 83% of the variance in eudaimonic well-being. In a qualitative study (n = 11), we explored when and how self-compassion might be useful in striving to reach one’s potential in sport. Self-compassion was described as advantageous in difficult sport-specific situations by increasing positivity, perseverance, and responsibility, as well as decreasing rumination. Apprehensions about fully embracing a self-compassionate mindset in sport warrant additional research to explore the seemingly paradoxical role of self-compassion in eudaimonic well-being.

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Convergent Validity of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adults: The New Member of the PAQ Family

Jennifer L. Copeland, Kent C. Kowalski, Rachel M. Donen, and Mark S. Tremblay


To accommodate the need for longitudinal physical activity research, we developed the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adults (PAQ-AD). The PAQ-AD is an adult version of the PAQ-C and PAQ-A questionnaires which were developed for older children and adolescents, respectively.


Two studies assessed the convergent validity of the PAQ-AD using a series of self-report tools and direct measurement of physical activity.


In the first sample (N = 247), the PAQ-AD was significantly related to a series of self-report tools (r = 0.53 to 0.64). In the second sample (N = 184), the PAQ-AD was significantly related to the self-report tools (r = 0.56 to 0.63), a physical activity recall interview (r = 0.24), and to direct measurements of physical activity (r = 0.26 to 0.43).


These results provide preliminary validity evidence for the PAQ-AD and suggest the PAQ “family” of questionnaires might be advantageous for longitudinal research assessing physical activity from childhood to adulthood.