Development and validation of the cognitive behavioral physical activity questionnaire

Susan M. Schembre, Casey P. Durand, Bryan J. Blissmer, Geoffrey W. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose. Develop and demonstrate preliminary validation of a brief questionnaire aimed at assessing social cognitive determinants of physical activity (PA) in a college population. Design. Quantitative and observational. Setting. A midsized northeastern university. Subjects. Convenience sample of 827 male and female college students age 18 to 24 years. Measures. International Physical Activity Questionnaire and a PA stage-of-change algorithm. Analysis. A sequential process of survey development, including item generation and data reduction analyses by factor analysis, was followed with the goal of creating a parsimonious questionnaire. Structural equation modeling was used for confirmatory factor analysis and construct validation was confirmed against self-reported PA and stage of change. Validation analyses were replicated in a second, independent sample of 1032 college students. Results. Fifteen items reflecting PA self-regulation, outcome expectations, and personal barriers explained 65% of the questionnaire data and explained 28.6% and 39.5% of the variance in total PA and moderate-to-vigorous-intensity PA, respectively. Scale scores were distinguishable across the stages of change. Findings were similar when the Cognitive Behavioral Physical Activity Questionnaire (CBPAQ) was tested in a similar and independent sample of college students (40%; R2 moderate-to-vigorous-intensity PA = .40; p , .001). Conclusion. The CBPAQ successfully explains and predicts PA behavior in a college population, warranting its incorporation into future studies aiming at understanding and improving on PA behavior in college students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-65
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • College students
  • Physical activity
  • Prevention research
  • Questionnaire
  • Social cognitive theories
  • Structural equation modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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