Development and initial validation of the determinants of physical activity questionnaire

Natalie Taylor*, Rebecca Lawton, Mark Conner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Physical activity interventions are more likely to be effective if they target causal determinants of behaviour change. Targeting requires accurate identification of specific theoretical determinants of physical activity. Two studies were undertaken to develop and validate the Determinants of Physical Activity Questionnaire.Methods: In Study 1, 832 male and female university staff and students were recruited from 49 universities across the UK and completed the 66-item measure, which is based on the Theoretical Domains Framework. Confirmatory factor analysis was undertaken on a calibration sample to generate the model, which resulted in a loss of 31 items. A validation sample was used to cross-validate the model. 20 new items were added and Study 2 tested the revised model in a sample of 466 male and female university students together with a physical activity measure.Results: The final model consisted of 11 factors and 34 items, and CFA produced a reasonable fit χ2 (472) = 852.3, p < .001, CFI = .933, SRMR = .105, RMSEA = .042 (CI = .037-.046), as well as generally acceptable levels of discriminant validity, internal consistency, and test-retest reliability. Eight subscales significantly differentiated between high and low exercisers, indicating that those who exercise less report more barriers for physical activity.Conclusions: A theoretically underpinned measure of determinants of physical activity has been developed with reasonable reliability and validity. Further work is required to test the measure amongst a more representative sample. This study provides an innovative approach to identifying potential barriers to physical activity. This approach illustrates a method for moving from diagnosing implementation difficulties to designing and evaluating interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number74
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

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Copyright the Author(s) 2013. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher


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