A Construct Validation Study of PLAYfun

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Abstract

Introduction

Physical Literacy Assessment for Youth (PLAYfun) is a measure of motor competence, comprehension, and confidence which is part of a suite of scales used to assess physical literacy in children and youth; however, its measurement properties have not been reported in the published literature. The purpose of this study is to examine the factor structure of PLAYfun, in addition to variations in PLAYfun subscale results by age and sex.

Method

In this study, we use a sample of children and youth 7 to 14 yr of age (n = 215) to test a proposed factor structure for the motor competence component of PLAYfun and to examine age and sex differences in subscale and total scores. The initial (n = 128) and secondary (n = 98) samples were drawn from a stratified (by geographic region), random sample of 27 after-school programs from a larger pool of 400 programs across the province of Ontario. Seven research assistants were initially trained on the administration of PLAYfun and rated a small pilot sample of 10 children. These trained assessors then assessed the full sample.

Results

Interrater agreement was very good (intraclass correlation, 0.87). The hypothesized five-factor structure of the scale was found to have an acceptable fit to the data (root mean square error of approximation, 0.055; 90% confidence interval, 0.03–0.075; comparative fit index, 0.95; Tucker–Lewis Index, 0.94). In general, PLAYfun scores increased with age as developmentally expected. There were few sex differences across skills, but girls did not perform as well as boys on upper and lower body object control skills.

Conclusions

The factor structure and patterns of results by age and sex support PLAYfun as a measure of motor competence. Continued evaluation of the tool and other subscales of PLAY is required.

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