African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Establishment of norms for the Bull‟s Mental Skills Questionnaire in South African university students: An exploratory study

DJ Edwards, BJM Steyn


In various South African academic and professional fields, such as Sport and Exercise Psychology, mental skills are measured individually and/or collectively using internationally developed scales. Local norms are needed for such measures. The purpose of this study was to establish preliminary South African norms, in the form of means and standard deviations, for one such United Kingdom developed collectively orientated mental skill measure. The Bull‟s Mental Skills Questionnaire, consists of seven mental skill subscales: imagery ability (ia), mental preparation (mp), self-confidence (sc), anxiety and worry management (awm), concentration ability (ca), relaxation ability (ra) and motivation (m), which collectively produce a total mental skills score. For the purpose of obtaining a large sample size for this exploratory study, data were collected from 419 male and female university students with a mean age of 20.18 years. Results suggested significant correlations among all subscales, except between imagery ability and anxiety and worry management, as well as significant differences between males and females for imagery ability and motivation. There were no significant differences between ages or between younger and older mean age groups. Results are compared with previous South Africa studies where the scale has been used. Recommendations for future research are made.

Key words: Mental skills, Bull‟s Mental Skills Questionnaire, South African university students, exploratory study.

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