Paediatrics Publications


A domain-specific approach for assessing physical activity efficacy in adolescents: From scale conception to predictive validity

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Psychology of Sport and Exercise



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Objective: To develop and test the utility of a domain-specific physical activity efficacy scale in adolescents for predicting physical activity behaviour. Design: Two independent studies were conducted. Study 1 examined the psychometric properties of a newly constructed Domain-Specific Physical Activity Efficacy Questionnaire (DSPAEQ) and study 2 tested the utility of the scale for predicting leisure- and school-time physical activity. Methods: In study 1, descriptive physical activity data were used to generate scale items. The scales factor structure and internal consistency were tested in a sample of 272 adolescents. A subsequent sample of Canadian (N = 104) and New Zealand (N = 29) adolescents, was recruited in study 2 to explore the scale's predictive validity using a subjective measure of leisure- and school-time physical activity. Results: A principle axis factor analysis in study 1 revealed a 26-item, five-factor coherent and interpretable solution; representative of leisure and recreation, household, ambulatory, transportation, and school physical activity efficacy constructs, respectively. The five-factor solution explained 81% of the response variance. In study 2 the domain-specific efficacy model explained 16% and 1% of leisure- and school-time physical activity response variance, respectively, with leisure time physical activity efficacy identified as a unique and significant contributor of leisure-time physical activity. Conclusion: Study 1 provides evidence for the tenability of a five factor DSPEAQ, while study 2 shows that the DSPEAQ has utility in predicting domain-specific physical activity. This latter finding underscores the importance of scale correspondence between the behavioural elements (leisure-time physical activity) and cognitive assessment of those elements (leisure-time physical activity efficacy).

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