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Development and preliminary validation of measures to assess mother's self-regulatory efficacy and outcome expectations to transport preschool aged children to structured physical activities



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Structured physical activity (SPA) is one type of physical activity in which preschool aged children participate (e.g., soccer programs). Given that SPA often occurs at community-based locations, such as at a field or hockey rink, primary caregivers, who are often times mothers, must transport their preschool aged children to the scheduled SPA. Although studies have examined social cognitions important to individuals’ participation in their own scheduled physical activity, no study to date has focused on the social cognitions of mothers’ that may be related to the transportation of their preschool aged children to SPA. The purpose of this two-study dissertation was to use self-efficacy theory to develop and examine the reliability and validity evidence of measures to assess mothers’ social cognitions (i.e., self-regulatory efficacy to overcome barriers and to schedule/plan; outcome expectations including likelihood and value) that may be related to transporting their children to SPA. A literature review, focus group elicitation with nine participants (Mean age = 35.25 years; SD = 3.57), and feedback from three expert judges and 10 participants were used to develop items for each of the measures in Study 1. The reliability of the measures was then investigated in Study 1 using data from 31 participants (Mean age= 33.50 years; SD = 5.79) to examine initial internal consistency and then 64 participants (Mean age= 32.87 years; SD = 4.48) to further examine internal consistency and temporal stability. Findings revealed some evidence for the content and construct validity, internal consistency, and temporal stability of the measures. To continue the construct validation of the measures, it was important to continue to examine the reliability evidence of the measures and other aspects of validity, including concurrent and predictive validity. In Study 2, data from 93 participants (Mean age= 34.88 years; SD = 5.04) were used to examine evidence of the criterion-related validity (i.e., concurrent and predictive) of the developed measures. Results revealed convergence of the measures that assessed similar constructs (i.e., self-regulatory efficacy to schedule/plan and to overcome barriers; outcome expectations: likelihood and value). However, evidence of the divergence of the self-regulatory efficacy measures from the outcome expectation measures was less consistent. Results also revealed that the self-regulatory efficacy beliefs and outcome expectations measures were not significant, independent predictors of transportation to SPA. These predictive validity findings as well as the divergence findings may have been due to the type of mothers who participated in the study (i.e., highly experienced in transporting children to SPA). Findings from the present series of studies suggest a need for continued exploration of the measures, including research with a more diverse sample. Collecting further reliability and validity evidence of these measures to compare it with the evidence from the present studies would contribute to the ongoing construct validation of these measures.



outcome expectations, self-regulatory efficacy, structured physical activity, mothers of preschool aged children, self-efficacy theory



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Kinesiology


College of Kinesiology


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