Psychometric properties of the physical activity questionnaire for older children (PAQ-C) in the UK

Erica L. Thomas, Dominic Upton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C) is a validated self-report questionnaire designed to assess moderate to vigorous physical activity in children. Currently however, there are no data supporting the use of the PAQ-C in British samples.

Design: Two studies using independent samples assessed the psychometric properties of the PAQ-C in children aged 9-11 from the UK. Method: Study one (N=336) examined general test score characteristics, internal reliability, factor structure and construct validity of the PAQ-C with the Self-Report Habit Index (SRHI). Study two (N=131) re-examined the factor structure and assessed convergent validity with BMI and cardiovascular fitness (CVF).

Results: The PAQ-C had acceptable item distribution, item total correlations (>.30) and internal reliability (α= .82 & .84). Exploratory factor analyses (EFA) identified two factors which appear to be sensitive to the context in which the activity is performed 'in school' and 'out of school'. The PAQ-C was related to the SRHI (r= 30) and inversely related to CVF ( r=-38) but not with BMI.

Conclusions: With the exception of one problematic item; physical activity during PE, several analyses suggested that the PAQ-C had acceptable measurement properties in this group. Pragmatically, the ease of use and efficient format of the PAQ-C makes it a feasible option for large studies and/or when time, money and manpower are limited. That said, further development of the PAQ-C may be required for younger samples and its usefulness for intervention research has yet to be established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-287
Number of pages8
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number3
Early online date20 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014
Externally publishedYes


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