Measuring Perceived Barriers to Physical Activity in Adolescents

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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Background:

Perceived barriers to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (PA) may contribute to the low rates of moderate-to-vigorous PA in adolescents. We examined the psychometric properties of scores from the perceived barriers to moderate-to-vigorous PA scale (PB-MVPA) by examining composite reliability and validity evidence based on the internal structure of the PB-MVPA and relations with other variables.

Methods:

This study was a cross-sectional analysis of data collected in 2013 from adolescents (N = 507; Mage = 12.40, SD = .62) via self-report scales.

Results:

Using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, we found that perceived barriers were best represented as two factors representing internal (e.g., “I am not interested in physical activity”) and external (e.g., “I need equipment I don’t have”) dimensions. Composite reliability was over .80. Using multiple regression to examine the relationship between perceived barriers and moderate-to-vigorous PA, we found that perceived internal barriers were inversely related to moderate-to-vigorous PA (β = -.32, p < .05). Based on results of the analysis of variances, there were no known-group sex differences for perceived internal and external barriers (p < .26).

Conclusions:

The PB-MVPA scale demonstrated evidence of score reliability and validity. To improve the understanding of the impact of perceived barriers on moderate-to-vigorous PA in adolescents, researchers should examine internal and external barriers separately.

Gunnell was with the University of Ottawa at the time of research and is now with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Research Institute with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group. Brunet and Wing are with the School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Bélanger is with the Dept. of Family Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, Moncton, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Jennifer Brunet at jennifer.brunet@uottawa.ca
Pediatric Exercise Science