Date of Award

May 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Barbara B. Meyer

Committee Members

Barbara B. Meyer, Laura L. Otto-Salaj, Sean P. Mullen, Susan E. Cashin, Kyle T. Ebersole, Anthony A. Hains


Behavior Change, Processes of Change, Psychological Skills, Sport Psychology, Transtheoretical Model


The results of previous research (e.g. Leffingwell, Rider, & Williams, 2001; Massey, Meyer, & Hatch, 2011; Zizzi & Perna, 2003) have led scholars to conclude that the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) may be an appropriate paradigm to study readiness to change in sport psychology settings. However, processes of change - a critical element to the TTM - have yet to be studied or measured in an athlete population. As such, the purpose of the current investigation was to initially develop and examine a measure of the processes of change for use in applied sport psychology settings. Informed by relevant literature, an initial pool of 114 items was generated. Content validity was established by consensus agreement of three judges with expertise in elite sport performance. In an effort to test the psychometric properties of the measure, data were then collected from two independent samples. Participants included National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I athletes, professional athletes, and athletes training for or competing in the Olympic Games (n1 = 201; n2 = 358). In sample one, exploratory structural equation modeling yielded a 7-factor solution (χ2 = 117.719, p = .003; CFI = .973; TLI = .942; RMSEA = .043). In sample two, a CFA was used to cross-validate the model structure found in sample one (χ2 = 372.588, p < .001; CFI = .949; TLI = .937; RMSEA = .043). Model-based reliability coefficients were calculated using standardized estimates with five of the seven subscales showing sufficient reliability (ω = 0.74 - 0.85). The Processes of Change in Sport Questionnaire (PCSQ) demonstrated concurrent validity with a modified version of the Processes of Exercise Change questionnaire (Marcus et al., 1992). Additionally, construct validity was shown as there were significant differences in the use of an athlete's processes of change across classifications of stage of change (p < .05). Results of the current study contribute to the sport performance and behavior change literature as it is the first to show validity for the processes of change construct as it relates to adopting and adhering to a PST routine for improved sport performance. While measuring the long-term effects of psychological intervention on sport performance remains a difficult task given the multitude of variables that account for sport performance, the TTM provides a framework for sport psychology professionals to address another key issue in the field - whether or not they are successful in helping athletes change and maintain more productive behaviors. As such, researchers should continue to examine whether TTM constructs can be measured reliably in an athletic population in an effort to create stage-based mental skills training interventions.