Measuring general levels of physical activity: preliminary evidence for the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1997 Oct;29(10):1344-9. doi: 10.1097/00005768-199710000-00011.


This article reports three studies that investigated psychometric properties of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C). The PAQ-C is a guided self-administered 7-day recall measure designed to assess general physical activity levels during the school year for children in grades four and higher. Study one, with 215 students ranging in age from 9 to 15 yr, found the PAQ-C had acceptable item and test score characteristics such as item distribution, corrected item-total correlations, and internal consistency. Study two, involving 84 students ranging from 9 to 14 yr, indicated acceptable levels of test-retest reliability for both males (r = 0.75) and females (r = 0.82) after 1 wk. The third study used Generalizability theory to investigate the reliability for using the average of either two or three PAQ-C scores collected during fall, winter, and spring seasons. Based on the responses of 200 students ranging from 8 to 16 yr, generalizability coefficients exceeded 0.80 for either the average of two or three responses for both younger (<13 yr) and older subjects. In all three studies, the PAQ-C demonstrated acceptable internal consistency and males were significantly more active than females. These results provide preliminary support for the PAQ-C as a cost efficient method of assessing general levels of children's physical activity during the school year.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Psychometrics
  • Seasons
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*