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Deborah L. Dewar, David Revalds Lubans, Philip James Morgan and Ronald C. Plotnikoff

Background:

This study aimed to develop and evaluate the construct validity and reliability of modernized social cognitive measures relating to physical activity behaviors in adolescents.

Methods:

An instrument was developed based on constructs from Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory and included the following scales: self-efficacy, situation (perceived physical environment), social support, behavioral strategies, and outcome expectations and expectancies. The questionnaire was administered in a sample of 171 adolescents (age = 13.6 ± 1.2 years, females = 61%). Confirmatory factor analysis was employed to examine model-fit for each scale using multiple indices, including chi-square index, comparative-fit index (CFI), goodness-of-fit index (GFI), and the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA). Reliability properties were also examined (ICC and Cronbach’s alpha).

Results:

Each scale represented a statistically sound measure: fit indices indicated each model to be an adequate-to-exact fit to the data; internal consistency was acceptable to good (α = 0.63−0.79); rank order repeatability was strong (ICC = 0.82−0.91).

Conclusions:

Results support the validity and reliability of social cognitive scales relating to physical activity among adolescents. As such, the developed scales have utility for the identification of potential social cognitive correlates of youth physical activity, mediators of physical activity behavior changes and the testing of theoretical models based on Social Cognitive Theory.