Cross-Cultural Invariance of the Mental Toughness Index among American and Greek Athletes

  • Andreas StamatisEmail author
  • Grant B. Morgan
  • Zacharias Papadakis
  • Vassilis Mougios
  • Gregory Bogdanis
  • Alexandra Spinou


To date, there has been no effort to uncover the extent of the universality of mental toughness (MT) in sport between any European country and the US via the Mental Toughness Index (MTI). The authors attempted to examine the invariance of MT between American and Greek athletes and further validate MTI. The MTI was completed by 99 Greek and 173 US athletes. Invariance testing was conducted using multiple group confirmatory factor analysis with increasingly restrictive models. The model-data fit in both samples was very good (CFI Greek = .995, RMSEA Greek = .046; CFI US = .998, RMSEA US = .032). The scalar invariance model was selected as the best fitting (CFA scalar = .930, RMSEA scalar = .078), but with a slightly different item intercept for one item (Item 4; <.5). The results imply that the meaning of the construct is equal in both cultures. Therefore, their MT scores can be directly compared.


Cross-cultural psychology Mental toughness Mentally tough Weighted least-square estimator with mean and variance adjustment Cultural sport psychology Etic 



The authors would like to thank (a) Ms. Marietta Papadatou-Pastou from the Hellenic Psychological Society (, who helped us in our effort to discover if there is an official psychological term for mental toughness in Greek. In fact, following her suggestion, the authors added the English term in parenthesis next to the Greek in the equivalent measure of MTI and (b) Mr. Noah Padgett from Baylor University for his assistance with data analysis.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

“All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.”

Supplementary material

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sport and WellnessSUNY PlattsburghPlattsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Educational PsychologyBaylor UniversityWacoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Sport and Exercise SciencesBarry UniversityMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Laboratory of Evaluation of Human Biological PerformanceAristotelian University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  5. 5.School of P.E. and Sport ScienceNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  6. 6.School of P.E. and Sport ScienceDemocritus University of ThraceKomotiniGreece
  7. 7.Department of MedicineNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

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