Background: The purpose of this study was to develop and validate questionnaires used to measure psychosocial determinants of physical activity in preadolescent children.
Methods: Three theory-based questionnaires and a measure of after-school physical activity were administered to 422 fifth-grade students. A cross-validation design was employed for psychometric development of the scales, including factor analysis, reliability, and validation by correlating scale scores with intention to be physically active and after-school physical activity.
Results: The Social Influences scale contained a single factor. The Self-Efficacy scale contained three factors: support seeking, barriers, and positive alternatives. The Beliefs scale contained two factors: social outcomes and physical activity outcomes. Reliability coefficients ranged from about 0.50 to 0.78. Significant correlations were obtained between all six scales and intention in the development sample, and between five scales and intention in the validation sample. Significant correlations were obtained between social influence and self-efficacy barriers and physical activity in the development sample, and between social influences and physical activity in the validation sample.
Conclusions: Three scales to measure psychosocial determinants of physical activity were refined for use with rural, predominantly African-American, preadolescent children, and shown to be both reliable and valid. Factor analysis resulted in interpretable subscales that may be used as variables. These preliminary results provide support for using the scales to measure influences on activity in children.