Motivation dimensions for running a marathon: A new model emerging from the Motivation of Marathon Scale (MOMS)

Sima Zach, Yan Xia, Aviva Zeev, Michal Arnon, Noa Choresh, Gershon Tenenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose The aim of this study was to test and expand the Motivation of Marathoners Scale (MOMS) model (Masters et al., 1993). Methods The MOMS questionnaire was distributed to 306 male and female marathon runners (age range: 20–77 years) with experience in marathon running (range: 1–44 runs). A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) revealed that the original model failed to fit the data. Hence, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was performed to test the best factorial solution for the current data, and a subsequent CFA was performed on the revised factorial structure. Then, a series of EFAs using maximum likelihood factor extraction method were performed. Results The best structure solution for model-data fit resulted in 11 factors: psychological coping—emotional-related coping, psychological coping—everyday-life management, life meaning, self-esteem, recognition, affiliation, weight concerns, general health orientation—reduced disease prevalence and longevity, general health orientation—keep fit, competition, and personal goal achievement. Conclusion This study provides a sound and solid framework for studying motivation for physically demanding tasks such as marathon runs, and needs to be similarly applied and tested in studies incorporating physical tasks which vary in mental demands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-310
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sport and Health Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Exercise adherence
  • Marathon
  • Motives
  • Psychological characteristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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