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Toward a better assessment of perceived social influence: The relative role of significant others on young athletes

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The purpose of this three-study paper was to develop and validate the Perceived Social Influence in Sport Scale-2 (PSISS-2) that aimed to resolve the limitations of PSISS-1 in assessing the relative social influence of significant others in youth sport. In Study 1, a pool of 60 items generated from revisiting a qualitative dataset about significant others of young athletes were examined by two expert panel reviews in terms of content validity, clarity, coverage, and age-appropriateness, leading to the development of 16 items of the PSISS-2. In Study 2, multi-group exploratory structural equation model for PSISS-2 was conducted among 904 young athletes, and the results supported a model comprising positive influence (ie, conditional and unconditional positive influence combined), punishment (ie, conditional negative influence), and dysfunction (ie, unconditional negative influence) as three factors. The goodness of fit of the three-factor model was acceptable and invariant across the coach-, father-, mother-, and teammates-versions of PSISS-2. In support of the criterion validity of PSISS-2, the three factors explained substantial variance of young athletes’ perceived competence, effort, enjoyment, and trait anxiety in sport. Study 3 examined the relationship between PSISS-2 factors, psychological need support, and controlling behaviors in a subsample of 452 young athletes, and the findings supported the concurrent validity and discriminant validity of the scale. In conclusion, the data are supportive of PSISS-2. The three factors of the scale (ie, positive influence, punishment, and dysfunction) may form a new framework for understanding and comparing the relative role of significant others in youth sport.




Chan, D. K. C., Keegan, R. J., Lee, A. S. Y., Yang, S. X., Zhang, L., Rhodes, R. E., & Lonsdale, C. (2019). Toward a better assessment of perceived social influence: The relative role of significant others on young athletes. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 29(2), 286–298.

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