Youth encounter physical activity barriers, often called problems. The purpose of problem solving is to generate solutions to overcome the barriers. Enhancing problem-solving ability may enable youth to be more physically active. Therefore, a method for reliably assessing physical activity problem-solving ability is needed. The purpose of this research was to report the development and initial validation of the physical activity problem-solving inventory for adolescents (PAPSIA). Qualitative and quantitative procedures were used. The social problem-solving inventory for adolescents guided the development of the PAPSIA scale. Youth (14- to 17-year-olds) were recruited using standard procedures, such as distributing flyers in the community and to organizations likely to be attended by adolescents. Cognitive interviews were conducted in person. Adolescents completed pen and paper versions of the questionnaire and/or scales assessing social desirability, self-reported physical activity, and physical activity self-efficacy. An expert panel review, cognitive interviews, and a pilot study (n = 129) established content validity. Construct, concurrent, and predictive validity were also established (n = 520 youth). PAPSIA is a promising measure for assessing youth physical activity problem-solving ability. Future research will assess its validity with objectively measured physical activity.
Thompson is with the Children’s Nutrition Research Center and Bhatt the Dept. of Family and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. Watson is with the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA; however, this work was performed while she was with the Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.