Onwards and upwards: The development, piloting and validation of a new measure of academic tenacity- The Bolton Uni-Stride Scale (BUSS)

Chathurika Sewwandi Kannangara, Rosie Allen, Jerome Carson, Samia Zahraa Noor Khan, Gill Waugh, Kondal Reddy Kandadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


What factors determine success at University? For many years the construct of intelligence was felt to be critical. More recently, the construct of grit, has attracted the attention of many researchers, along with related concepts such as self-control, growth mind-sets and resilience. The authors of this paper have developed a specific measure of tenacity and self-composure, two constructs crucial to academic achievement. This measure comprises of 12 items drawn from the above constructs, but also including mental well-being and strengths use. In the first study, the authors report on the psychometric properties of the Bolton Uni-Stride Scale (BUSS). The new scale was administered to 1117 university students. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) revealed two underlying factors, one labelled “tenacity” had seven items and accounted for 30% of the variance. The second was labelled “self-composure,” and accounted for 14% of the variance. In the second study the BUSS was given to 340 undergraduate students along with the Grit Scale, the Self-Control Scale, the Mind-sets Quiz, the Connor Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC 10) and the short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS). This study presented evidence for good internal consistency reliability (.74) and test-retest reliability over three weeks was .70 for Tenacity and .77 for Self-composure. BUSS Academic Tenacity correlated highly with grit (.63), self-control (.59), resilience (.52), mind-sets (.35) and mental well-being (.54). The study also evidences good discriminative validity of the BUSS. A second study conducted confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), explaining a total of 44% of the variance. The authors have shown good support for the reliability and validity of the BUSS scale. It now needs to be tested in other universities and in different countries. It is the contention of the authors that academic tenacity will be a better measure of academic success than other competing measures, such as grit, on their own. Further research is needed to test this assertion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0235157
Number of pages26
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2020


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