Development of a scale for use in monitoring training-induced distress in athletes

Int J Sports Med. 1994 Feb;15(2):84-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1021025.


In an attempt to identify athletes at risk of training-induced distress, a scale was developed using items from the Profile of Mood States (POMS). POMS data were collected monthly from 170 varsity college swimmers (70 female, 100 male) during four competitive training seasons. The team coaches identified swimmers who showed signs of compromised performance in response to intensive training (i.e., distress), and several series of discriminant function analyses were conducted in attempts to identify these individuals using POMS scale items. Discriminant function equations derived from subsets of items from the entire POMS items pool resulted in a mean prediction rate for identifying distressed swimmers of 93.9% for men and 100% for women. Seven POMS items which entered the equations most frequently served as predictor variables for analyses of a sample of 33 men swimmers. Predictions of distress were conducted at each monthly assessment. The prediction rate of distress achieved with the 7-item set of POMS items averaged 69.1%, and this level of accuracy was 37.0% above the chance rate of prediction (p < 0.05). In a cross-validation on 29 collegiate track and field athletes, the prediction rate of the 7-item scale was 66.7% (p < 0.05). It is concluded that the scale developed in this investigation was effective in identifying swimmers and other endurance athletes who exhibit signs of distress resulting from intensive training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritable Mood*
  • Male
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Psychometrics*
  • Sports / psychology*
  • Swimming / psychology
  • Track and Field / psychology