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PURPOSE - To construct and evaluate a psychometric instrument for the assessment of behavioral change as a means for gaining insight into the development of more effective programs for promoting physical activity in women.
DESIGN - A 16-item questionnaire was created and was administered three times (0, 6, and 12 months) to 181, 90, and 82 women, respectively, to determine the validity and reliability of the instrument. Participants were women 30-60 years of age, literate in English, and sedentary.
METHODS - The data were analyzed using factor analysis to determine the most appropriate model for evaluating three theoretical constructs: (a) goal setting, (b) restructuring plans, and (c) relapse prevention and maintenance.
RESULTS - A 3-factor model was shown to be appropriate; the instrument adequately distinguished the constructs goal setting and relapse prevention and maintenance, but did less well with the concept of restructuring plans, indicating that this concept may not be a separate entity.
CONCLUSIONS - This study showed that this new instrument to evaluate behavioral change has important empirical applications. Each subscale can be used independently, depending on the needs of the investigator. This instrument will be useful for public health programs promoting physical activity in a sedentary population.