Measuring Perceived Barriers to Physical Activity in Adolescents

Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2015 May;27(2):252-61. doi: 10.1123/pes.2014-0067. Epub 2015 Feb 13.


Background: Perceived barriers to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (PA) may contribute to the low rates of moderate-to-vigorous PA in adolescents. We examined the psychometric properties of scores from the perceived barriers to moderate-to-vigorous PA scale (PB-MVPA) by examining composite reliability and validity evidence based on the internal structure of the PB-MVPA and relations with other variables.

Methods: This study was a cross-sectional analysis of data collected in 2013 from adolescents (N = 507; Mage = 12.40, SD = .62) via self-report scales.

Results: Using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, we found that perceived barriers were best represented as two factors representing internal (e.g., "I am not interested in physical activity") and external (e.g., "I need equipment I don't have") dimensions. Composite reliability was over .80. Using multiple regression to examine the relationship between perceived barriers and moderate-to-vigorous PA, we found that perceived internal barriers were inversely related to moderate-to-vigorous PA (β = -.32, p < .05). Based on results of the analysis of variances, there were no known-group sex differences for perceived internal and external barriers (p > .26).

Conclusions: The PB-MVPA scale demonstrated evidence of score reliability and validity. To improve the understanding of the impact of perceived barriers on moderate-to- vigorous PA in adolescents, researchers should examine internal and external barriers separately.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Motor Activity*
  • Perception
  • Physical Exertion
  • Play and Playthings
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Social Environment
  • Sports Equipment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Time Factors