Understanding participation motivation and increasing adherence to physical activity among the general population is crucial for the overall well-being of our society. Existing measures do not adequately capture all the motives people have for engaging in sport and exercise. The purpose of the present study was to validate a comprehensive measure of participation motivation, the Physical Activity and Leisure Motivation Scale (PALMS). This included examining the internal consistency and criterion validity of the PALMS, as well as testing the proposed model of PALMS subscales in a confirmatory factor analysis. A community sample of 202 volunteer participants, 120 males and 82 females, aged 18 to 71 years, was recruited from various organizations, clubs, and leisure centres. The participants represented different forms of physical activity namely, Australian Football League (AFL), gym-based exercise, tae kwon do, tennis, and yoga. Results indicate that the PALMS has a robust factor structure (CMIN/DF = 2.22; NFI = 0.95; CFI = 0.97; RMSEA = 0.078). The PALMS also demonstrated good internal consistency with a Cronbach’s alpha (α) of 0.79. The α values for the PALMS subscales ranged from .80 to .99. In terms of criterion validity, Spearman’s rho (rs) indicated a strong positive correlation between the REMM and the PALMS (rs = .9). The correlations between each PALMS sub-scale and the corresponding sub-scale on the validated REMM were also high and varied from .76 to .95. The present study supports the reliability and the criterion and construct validity of the PALMS as a measure of participation motivation.
Journal of Human Sport and Exercise