Quality of Life Research

, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 1815–1828

Adaptation and cognitive testing of physical activity measures for use with young, school-aged children and their parents


DOI: 10.1007/s11136-011-0095-1

Cite this article as:
Leary, J.M., Ice, C. & Cottrell, L. Qual Life Res (2012) 21: 1815. doi:10.1007/s11136-011-0095-1



Increasing physical activity is one way to address the public health concern of childhood obesity. Physical activity measures for use with young, school-aged children are limited.


This study adapted two existing activity measures for young children, specifically self-efficacy and 7-day recall of physical activity.


Through expert review and cognitive testing, the scales were adapted for use with young, school-aged children (ages 7–9). This article describes how the measures were adapted to insure comprehension of the child self-report measures. Reliability analyses provide support for their use in this population [Cronbach’s alpha = 0.76 for the self-efficacy scale; moderate correlation between parent report and child report of child physical activity over the past week (rho = 0.52, P < 0.01].


Suggestions are offered for researchers interested in using similar methods when designing and adapting physical activity measures for new populations.


Cognitive testingPhysical activityChildrenScale developmentObesity

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Medicine, Department of PediatricsWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA