Measuring Physical Activity Self-Regulation Strategies in Older Adults

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Theoretically, self-regulatory strategies (eg, goal setting, self-monitoring) are an important influence of behavior change, but very little research has examined the relationship between self-regulation and physical activity (PA) behavior. Petosa’s (1993) 43-item PA self-regulation scale (PASR-43) affords the opportunity for studying this construct in the context of PA; however the PASR-43 has not been tested for structural aspects of validity. Therefore, this study examines the structural validity of the PASR-43 in older adults.


The structural validity of the PASR-43 was tested in a large sample of older adults from North and South Carolina and Ohio (N = 460) using maximum likelihood estimation and confirmatory factor analysis in AMOS 5.0.


The original 6-factor model for the PASR-43 scale did not represent an acceptable fit to the data (x2 = 4732.25, df = 845, P < .0001, RMSEA = 0.10, NNFI = 0.67, CFI = 0.71). Based on a post hoc specification search, iterative model modifications resulted in a 12-item PA self-regulation scale (PASR-12) that represented an excellent fit to the data (x2 = 70.75, df = 39, P = .001, RMSEA = 0.04, NNFI = 0.98, CFI = 0.99).


The PASR-12 provides a concise and valid measure of PA self-regulation for use with older adults. Future studies should cross-validate the PASR-12 and examine invariance across time and between age, ethnic, gender, and geographical groups.

Umstattd is with the Dept of Health Science, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL. Motl is with the Dept of Kinesiology & Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL. Wilcox is with the Dept of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Saunders is with the Dept of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Watford is with the Dept of Community Health Services, FirstHealth of the Carolinas, Pinehurst, NC.

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