Re-evaluation of the factor structure of Motivations of Marathoners Scales (MOMS)

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Heazlewood, IT, Walsh, J & Climstein, M 2018, 'Re-evaluation of the factor structure of Motivations of Marathoners Scales (MOMS)', in M Leung & L Tan (eds.), Applied psychology readings : selected papers from Singapore conference on applied psychology, 2017, Springer, Singapore, pp. 57-71. ISBN 9789811080340

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Peer Reviewed



The Motivations of Marathoners Scales (MOMS) was developed by Masters et al. (1993) to assess participant motivation in marathon runners. It contained 56 stem generic items or questions using a seven-point Likert response scale, which represented nine first-order factors or motives to participate in marathons using male and female pooled data. The nine first-order factors represented four second-order factors as follows: general health orientation and weight concern (second-order factor physical health motives); affiliation and recognition (second-order factor social motives); competition and personal goal achievement (second-order factor achievement motives); and psychological coping, self-esteem and life meaning (second-order factor psychological motives). The psychometric instrument displayed internal consistency, test-retest reliability and factorial validity of scales. The instrument has been applied at international multisport events to evaluate differences in participant motivation in different genders, ages and different sports. The research aim was to re-evaluate the first- and second-order factor structure of the MOMS instrument with a different sport cohort of male and female athletes competing at the 2009 World Masters Games (WMG). The study was approved by a university human research ethics committee. Male and female athletes competing at the 2009 World Masters Games volunteered to participate in the research project (male n = 2522; female n = 2428). Athletes completed an online survey using the Limesurvey™ interactive survey system. Factor analysis was completed via SPSS version 23 using principal component analysis, orthogonal and oblimin rotations. The results using non-constrained first-order factor analysis produced eight factors with the majority of items loading significantly on factor 1. The constrained (n = 9) first-order factor analysis produced a similar result with most items loading on factor 1. Varimax rotations resulted in loadings on other factors but not consistent with the original instrument. Second-order factor analysis following a similar approach produced only one significant factor instead of the expected four using the non-constrained approach. When the solution was constrained to four factors, once again, the majority of nine first-order factors loaded on factor 1. In conclusion, the factor structure identified in the original MOMS instrument was not reproduced with the WMG male and female cohort. Initial solutions for first-order factors (explained variance 38%) and second-order factors (explained variance 57.8%) the majority of items loaded on a significant factor 1, which explained most of the variance in the correlation matrix. Constraining models to the original nine first-order factors and four second-order factors slightly improved the solution when mapped with the original instrument factor structure. However, based on these results with the WMG cohort suggests one significant underpinning factor that of participant motivation for competition at this level.