Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Creating Developmentally Appropriate Self-Report Instruments for Children: An Illustrative Example

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Creating Developmentally Appropriate Self-Report Instruments for Children: An Illustrative Example

Article excerpt

James L. Mandigo, Brock University, and Linda P. Thompson, University of Alberta

Creating developmentally appropriate items is critical when conducting self-report research with children. The common practice of taking adult questionnaires and simply modifying the wording can often result in unnecessary sources of measurement error (Brustad, 1998). The purpose of the series of studies for this presentation is to illustrate a number of steps to create developmentally appropriate items pertaining to children's psychological experiences in physical activity. The development of the Children's Perceptions of Optimal Challenge Instrument (CPOCI) is used as an example of how various methodologies can be employed to provide construct validation evidence. Although the construct of optimal challenge has been theoretically linked as an important antecedent to facilitating intrinsic motivation (e.g., Csikszentmihalyi, 1990; Deci & Ryan, 2000; Harter, 1990), there is a lack of a psychometrically sound instrument that can be used with children. A total of 27 (15M; 12F) children in Study 1 were interview ed about their physical activity experiences. Interviews were content analyzed inductively and items representing three subscales (skill/challenge balance, skill [greater than] challenge, and challenge [greater than] skill) were developed. The relevance of these items were then reviewed by an international group of experts (n = 9) in Study 2 who were on faculty at various universities and who had varied backgrounds in motivational issues pertaining to children and youth. …

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