Self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2000) proposes that intrinsic, relative to extrinsic, goal content is a critical predictor of the quality of an individual’s behavior and psychological well-being. Through three studies, we developed and psychometrically tested a measure of intrinsic and extrinsic goal content in the exercise context: the Goal Content for Exercise Questionnaire (GCEQ). In adults, exploratory (N = 354; Study 1) and confrmatory factor analyses (N = 312; Study 2) supported a 20-item solution consisting of 5 lower order factors (i.e., social affliation, health management, skill development, image and social recognition) that could be subsumed within a 2-factor higher order structure (i.e., intrinsic and extrinsic). Evidence for external validity, temporal stability, gender invariance, and internal consistency of the GCEQ was found. An independent sample (N = 475; Study 3) provided further support for the lower order structure of the GCEQ and some support for the higher order structure. The GCEQ was supported as a measure of exercise-based goal content, which may help understand how intrinsic and extrinsic goals can motivate exercise behavior.
Sebire and Standage are with the Motivation for Exercise, Sport, and Health Research Group, School for Health, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom, and Vansteenkiste is with the Department of Psychology, University of Gent, Gent, Belgium.