Psychometric properties of the physical activity questionnaire for older children (PAQ-C) in the UK


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Abstract

ObjectivesThe Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C) is a validated self-report questionnaire designed to assess moderate to vigorous physical activity in children. Currently however, there are no data supporting the use of the PAQ-C in British samples.DesignTwo studies using independent samples assessed the psychometric properties of the PAQ-C in children aged 9–11 from the UK.MethodStudy one (N = 336) examined general test score characteristics, internal reliability, factor structure and construct validity of the PAQ-C with the Self-Report Habit Index (SRHI). Study two (N = 131) re-examined the factor structure and assessed convergent validity with BMI and cardiovascular fitness (CVF).ResultsThe PAQ-C had acceptable item distribution, item total correlations (>.30) and internal reliability (α =.82 &.84). Exploratory factor analyses (EFA) identified two factors which appear to be sensitive to the context in which the activity is performed ‘in school’ and ‘out of school’. The PAQ-C was related to the SRHI (r =.30) and inversely related to CVF (r = −.38) but not with BMI.ConclusionsWith the exception of one problematic item; physical activity during PE, several analyses suggested that the PAQ-C had acceptable measurement properties in this group. Pragmatically, the ease of use and efficient format of the PAQ-C makes it a feasible option for large studies and/or when time, money and manpower are limited. That said, further development of the PAQ-C may be required for younger samples and its usefulness for intervention research has yet to be established.HighlightsThe PAQ-C shows good reliability.The PAQ-C has two factors; ‘in school’ and ‘out of school’ activity.Factors are sensitive to the context in which activity is performed.The PAQ-C demonstrates construct and convergent validity with the SRHI and CVF.The contribution of PE to general, or even school based activity is small.

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