Background: Enjoyment has been implicated as a determinant of physical activity among youth, but advances in understanding its importance have been limited by the use of measures that were not adequately validated. The present study examined: (1) the factorial validity of the Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PACES), and (2) the construct validity of PACES scores.
Methods: Adolescent girls (N=1797), who were randomly assigned to calibration (n=899) and cross-validation (n=898) samples, completed the PACES and measures of factors influencing enjoyment of physical education, physical activity, and sport involvement. The factorial validity of the PACES and the measure of factors influencing enjoyment of physical education was tested using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. The hypothesized relationships among the measures were tested using structural equation modeling.
Results: Unidimensional models fit the PACES and the measure of factors influencing enjoyment of physical education in the calibration and cross-validation samples. The hypothesized relationships between the PACES and the measures of factors influencing enjoyment of physical education, physical activity, and sport involvement were supported in the entire sample, were similar in African-American and Caucasian girls, and were independent of physical fitness.
Conclusions: Evidence of factorial validity and convergent evidence for construct validity indicate that the PACES is a valid measure of physical activity enjoyment among adolescent girls, suitable for use as a mediator variable in interventions designed to increase physical activity.