Open Access Research article

Reliability and validity of the modified child and adolescent physical activity and nutrition survey (CAPANS-C) questionnaire examining potential correlates of physical activity participation among Chinese-Australian youth

Claudia Strugnell1*, Andre Renzaho2, Kate Ridley3 and Cate Burns4

Author Affiliations

1 School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Hwy, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia

2 International Public Health Unit, Department of Epidemiology & Preventative Medicine, Monash University, Level 3 Burnet Building, 89 Commercial Road, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia

3 Centre for Sport, Health and Physical Education (SHAPE), School of Education, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia

4 School of Dentistry and Health Services, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga 2678, Australia

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:145  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-145

Published: 11 February 2014



To date, few questionnaires examining psychosocial influences of physical activity (PA) participation have been psychometrically tested among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) youth. An understanding of these influences may help explain the observed differences in PA among CALD youth. Therefore, this study examined the reliability and predictive validity of a brief self-report questionnaire examining potential psychological and social correlates of physical activity among a sample of Chinese-Australian youth.


Two Chinese-weekend cultural schools from eastern metropolitan Melbourne consented to participate in this study. In total, 505 students aged 11 to 16 years were eligible for inclusion in the present study, and of these, 106 students agreed to participate (21% response rate). Participants completed at 37-item self-report questionnaire examining perceived psychological and social influences on physical activity participation twice, with a test–retest interval of 7 days. Predictive validity, internal consistency and test–retest reliability were evaluated using exploratory factor analyses, Cronbach’s α coefficient, and the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) respectively. Predictive validity was assessed by correlating responses against duration spent in self-reported moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).


The exploratory factor analysis revealed a nine factor structure, with the majority of factors exhibiting high internal consistency (α ≥ 0.6). In addition, four of the nine factors had an ICC ≥ 0.6. Spearman rank-order correlations coefficients between the nine factors and self-reported minutes spent in MVPA ranged from -0.5 to 0.3 for all participants.


This is the first study to examine the psychometric properties of a potential psychological and social correlates questionnaire among Chinese-Australian youth. The questionnaire was found to provide reliable estimates on a range of psychological and social influences on physical activity and evidence of predictive validity on a limited number of factors. More research is required to improve the reliability and validity of the questionnaire.

Physical activity; Reliability; Adolescents; Chinese-Australians