The relationship between motivations, perceived control, and mental toughness among marathon runners

Ashley A. Samson, Mark P. Otten, Kerry Crivello

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Participation in Marathon running has increased by a factor of 20 since 1976 (Running USA, 2012). Researchers are interested in the psychological variables that influence individuals to engage in such a strenuous activity. Three such variables include motivations, perceived control, and mental toughness. Whilst data indicate that these variables are important for success in sport, little research has studied relationships among these variables in runners. This study explored the relationship between motivations, perceived control, mental toughness and gender among 308 adult Marathon runners (117 males, 191 females). Runners completed a questionnaire battery that included demographic items, the Motivations of Marathoners Scale (MOMS; Masters, Ogles and Jolton, 1993), the Perceived Control Questionnaire (Otten, 2009), and the Sport Mental Toughness Questionnaire (SMTQ; Sheard, Golby and van Wersch, 2009). Results of structural equation modeling revealed a significant, positive relationship between perceived control and mental toughness, and between perceived control and all subscales of the MOMS except weight concern. Additionally, gender differences were observed for subscales of the MOMS and SMTQ, but not for perceived control. Results facilitate understanding of psychological factors in marathon participation, and inform interventions with Marathon runners.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in Sport Psychology
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781536113365
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Marathon runners
  • Mental toughness
  • Motivations
  • Perceived control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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