Development and Validation of a Perceived Barriers to Physical Activity Scale for Low-Income Adolescents

Cheng Li, Christy Hullings, Wei Wang, Debra M.Palmer Keenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Low-income adolescents' physical activity (PA) levels fall below current recommendations. Perceived barriers to physical activity (PBPA) are likely significant predictors of PA levels; however, valid and reliable measures to assess PA barriers are lacking. This manuscript describes the development of the PBPA Survey for Low-Income Adolescents. Methods: A mixedmethod approach was used. Items identified from the literature and revised for clarity and appropriateness (postcognitive interviews) were assessed for test-retest reliability with 74 adolescents using intraclass correlation coefficient. Items demonstrating low intraclass correlation coefficients or floor effects were removed. Both exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis analyses (n = 1914 low-income teens) were used to finalize the scale; internal consistency was assessed by Cronbach's alpha. Concurrent validity was established by correlating the PBPA with the PA questionnaire for adolescents using a Spearman correlation. Results: The exploratory factor analysis yielded a 38-item, 7-factor solution, which was cross-validated by confirmatory factor analysis (comparative-fit index, nonnormed fit index = .90). The scale's Cronbach's alpha was .94, with subscales ranging from .70 to .88. The PBPA Survey for Low-Income Adolescents' concurrent validity was supported by a negative PA questionnaire for adolescents' correlation values. Conclusion: The PBPA Survey for Low-Income Adolescents can be used to better understand the relationship between PBPA among low-income teens. Further research is warranted to validate the scale with other adolescent subgroups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-515
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Epidemiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


  • Behavioral science
  • Community-based research
  • Evaluation
  • Instrument psychometrics
  • Methods
  • Physical activity assessment


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