The perceived autonomy support scale for exercise settings (PASSES): Development, validity, and cross-cultural invariance in young people

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Objective:The study aimed to develop a perceived autonomy support scale for exercise settings (PASSES) in young people.Design:Cross-sectional questionnaire survey.Methods:In Study 1,432 school pupils responded to an initial pool of perceived autonomy support items with physical education (PE) teachers as the source of support. The validity of the initial factor structure of the PASSES was evaluated using confirmatory factor analysis. In Study 2, three versions of the PASSES were developed measuring perceived autonomy support from three sources: PE teachers, parents, and peers. British (N=210), Estonian (N=268), and Hungarian (N=235) school pupils completed each version. The proposed model of perceived autonomy support established in Study 1 was tested for structural invariance and mean differences across the three cultures.Results:In Study 1, the deletion of items contributing to model misspecification produced a final 12-item PASSES which exhibited acceptable fit with the data. The perceived autonomy support factor also demonstrated discriminant and convergent validity with regulation styles from the perceived locus of causality. In Study 2, the hypothesized model exhibited acceptable goodness-of-fit statistics in all samples and for all sources. The structure of the model was found to be invariant across the cultural groups for each source. Contrary to hypotheses, mean levels of perceived autonomy support from parents and peers were found to be higher in Estonian participants relative to their British and Hungarian counterparts.Conclusion:Results support the use of the PASSES as a valid measure of perceived autonomy support in exercise settings for three different sources in young people.

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