Motives for exercise participation: The role of individual and psychological characteristics
BACKGROUND Although there is abundant evidence to recommend a physically active lifestyle, adult physical activity (PA) levels have declined over the past two decades. In order to understand why this happens, numerous studies have been conducted to uncover the reasons for people's participation in PA. Often, the measures used were not broad enough to reflect all the reasons for participation in PA. The Physical Activity and Leisure Motivation Scale (PALMS) was created to be a comprehensive tool measuring motives for participating in PA. This 40-item scale related to participation in sport and PA is designed for adolescents and adults. Five items constitute each of the eight sub-scales (mastery, enjoyment, psychological condition, physical condition, appearance, other's expectations, affiliation, competition/ego) reflecting motives for participation in PA that can be categorized as features of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation based on self-determination theory. The aim of the current study was to validate the PALMS in the cultural context of Malaysia, including to assess how well the PALMS captures the same information as the Recreational Exercise Motivation Measure (REMM). METHOD To do so, 502 Malaysian volunteer participants, aged 18 to 67 years (mean ± SD; 31.55 ± 11.87 years), from a variety of PA categories, including individual sports, team sports, martial arts and exercise, completed the study. RESULTS The hypothesized 8-factor model demonstrated a good fit with the data (CMIN/DF = 2.820, NFI = 0.90, CFI = 0.91, RMSEA = 0.06). Cronbach's alpha coefficient (α = 0.79) indicated good internal consistency for the overall measure. Internal consistency for the PALMS subscales was sound, ranging from 0.78 to 0.82. The correlations between each PALMS sub-scale and the corresponding sub-scale on the validated REMM (the 73-item questionnaire from which the PALMS was developed) were also high and varied from 0.79 to 0.95. Also, test-retest reliability for the questionnaire sub-scales was between 0.78 and 0.94 over a 4-week period. CONCLUSIONS In this sample, the PALMS demonstrated acceptable factor structure, internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and criterion validity. It was applicable to diverse physical activity contexts.