The flow experience: a Rasch analysis of Jackson's Flow State Scale.

G. Tenenbaum, G. J. Fogarty, S. A. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Jackson and Marsh (1996) reported the development of a Flow State Scale (FSS) for use in sport and physical activity. The FSS contains 36 items measuring the nine dimensions of flow described by Csikszentmihalyi (1990, 1993). Jackson and Marsh reported high internal consistency estimates for the subscales and evidence for nine first-order factors and one second-order factor when confirmatory factor analytic techniques were used. The present study extended this validation work by subjecting the data from the original sample (N = 394) of elite younger athletes and a subsequent sample (N = 398) of older athletes to Rasch analysis. These Rasch analyses showed quite clearly that the flow dimensions may be conceptualised as a continuum with "autotelic experience" being experienced more readily than dimensions such as "transformation of time", a state that may only be encountered at the height of a deep flow experience. The Rasch analyses provide useful additional information about the areas of the flow continuum tapped by the items and scales of the FSS and, in so doing, help to confirm the construct validity and generalisability of the scale itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-294
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of outcome measurement
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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