Factorial Structure of the Self-Report Barriers for Practice Physical Exercise in Mexican Athletes University Students
European Scientific Journal April 2018 edition Vol.14
Factorial Structure of the Self-Report Barriers for Practice Physical Exercise in Mexican Athletes University Students
Dr. Juan Francisco Aguirre Chavez 0
Dr. Perla Jannet Jurado Garcia 0
Dr. Susana Ivonne Aguirre Vasquez 0
Dr. Jose Rene Blanco Ornelas 0
0 Autonomous University of Chihuahua , Mexico
The present study intends to investigate if the psychometric results are replicated for the Self-Report of Barriers to the Practice of Physical Exercise (ABPEF) in Mexican athletes university students. A total of 651 university students participated (mean age = 20.8 ± 2.4 years). The factorial structure of the questionnaire was analyzed through confirmatory factor analyzes, which showed that a structure of four factors is viable and adequate. The four factors (body image, fatigue, obligations and environment), based on statistical and substantive criteria, have shown adequate fit indicators of reliability and validity. In addition, the results of the factorial analyzes carried out with the sub-samples indicate the existence of strong evidence of the stability of the factorial structure. Future research should replicate these findings in larger samples.
Instrumental study; factorial structure; construct validation; factorial invariance
(Castañeda-Vázquez, Campos, & Del Castillo, 2016, World Health
This international organization (WHO), recommends for college-aged
people and adults up to 64 years, 150 minutes per week, at least, of moderate
aerobic physical activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity,
or an equivalent combination of moderate activities and vigorous, without
neglecting the work of muscular strength.
But in a study conducted in Spain was found that slightly more than
50% of college students who participated, is below these international
recommendations for healthy physical activity.
Likewise, an association was found between gender and levels of
physical activity, with men reflectixng to be more physically active than
women and they obtain a greater degree of compliance with the
recommendations of physical activity practice. In relation to age, no
significant differences were found, so it seems that physical activity levels
remain stable throughout their university studies. This fact is relevant because,
at this stage of life, people can consolidate their lifestyle, exerting a great
influence on acquired habits that can be perpetuated in adult life
Sevil, Moreno, Del Villar, & García-González, 2016)
Another interesting research, also in Spain, about physical and sports
activities demanded by university students, shows that the rate of university
students that achieve these activities is higher than sixty percent, they report
that during the week they do physical activities for maintenance and
improvement of health, while on weekends, individual and collective sports
are the most practiced, without pursuing a competitive nature. Activities in the
natural environment are becoming increasingly important during the holiday
periods. Finally, the majority of students prefer to perform physical-sporting
practice on their own, in a free and self-organized manner
(López, Ruiz, &
On the other hand, Rodríguez-Romo, Boned-Pascual and
GarridoMuñoz (2009), who conducted a study with several age groups, about motives
and barriers of practice for physical activity, comment that the reasons that
lead people to do physical exercise or abandon it have a dynamic character
and rarely reduce in a single reason. They conclude that these reasons, in the
sample studied, have a playful and recreational nature, which is aimed at the
maintenance and improvement of health, as well as the acquisition of a good
physical appearance and, that both for the practice and for its abandonment
age and gender are related. Regarding gender, men seem to practice, above all,
for fun and occupation of free time, while women do it mostly to be fit. In
addition, when analyzing the reasons why a part of the interviewees had never
practiced physical activity or sports in their free time, it was detected that one
in four people referred to the lack of time and an identical proportion, referred
not seeing benefits or utility in practicing it.
In a work, more similar to ours, on psychometric properties, of the
questionnaire Barriers to Being Active Quiz (BBAQ-21), in university
students of Colombia. The results obtained confirm the use of this instrument
with this type of sample, from the point of view of reliability and validity, and
that can be used for studies in this population in Spanish-speaking countries,
since there are few instruments in this theme (Rubio-Henao, Correa, &
For example, Ramírez-Vélez, Triana-Reina, Carrillo and
RamosSepúlveda (2016), conducted a study on the perception of barriers to the
practice of physical activity and abdominal obesity in university students,
where more than 5,000 students participated, between 18 and 30 years old,
belonging to three cities in Colombia, which was applied the above-mentioned
questionnaire (BBAQ-21). They found that the barriers mentioned most often
were the fear of hurting themselves and the lack of skills, followed by a lack
of resources and social influence. Other barriers that were also frequently
reported to justify this behavior were lack of will, lack of energy and lack of
time. While Reigal, Videra, Márquez and Parra (2013), they mention physical
self-concept as a relevant determinant of the reasons that prevent physical
Continuing with the idea of the lack of instruments in this field
Niñerola, Capdevila and Pintanel (2006), who made a factor analysis of the
Self-Report Barriers for Practice Physical Exercise (ABPEF) reported by
Capdevila a year earlier, comment that this questionnaire is one of the few
contributions made in the Spanish language, and it formulates a certain
number of statements that can be a problem or excuse to perform physical
activity, originally composed of 20 items, divided into four factors: 1) Body
image, related to social physical anxiety, which consists in the concern for how
our body can be perceived by others; 2) Motivation, related to intrinsic
personal reasons such as laziness or will power; 3) Condition, related to the
difficulties due to a poor physical condition and the usual inconveniences and
4) Organization, related to the person's time availability, time and accessibility
to the facilities.
The final version of the ABPEF instrument by Niñerola et al. (2006),
presents good psychometric qualities, with 17 items grouped into four factors:
1) Body Image/Social Physical Anxiety, 2) Fatigue/Laziness, 3)
Obligations/Lack of Time and 4) Environment/Facilities, which explain the
62.9% of the total variability of the data, reporting a high internal consistency,
Cronbach's alpha = 0.85 and a good Test-Retest reliability, with correlation
coefficients higher or very close to 0.5.
In the present study we are interested in knowing the factorial
structure, and the psychometric characteristics, of the Self-Report Barriers for
the Practice of Physical Exercise from the proposal of the above-mentioned
authors, but in Mexican university athletes, with the objective that it be
available to evaluate the barriers related to the practice of physical activity in
our country and in other Spanish-speaking populations, since, as we have seen
so far, all the work in this field focuses on university students and the
population in general.
However, specifically in the Mexican population we do not find
previous instruments that support the research on barriers to the practice of
PA. The importance of checking the factorial structure of an instrument and
the psychometric equivalence of it in different population groups justifies this
(Abalo, Lévy, Rial, & Varela, 2006)
. Consequently, the objective
of the present instrumental study
(Montero & León, 2005)
was to verify the
factor structure of the ABPEF and its psychometric equivalence in Mexican
The sample of 651 university students 477 men and 174 women, was
obtained by means of a convenience sampling, trying to cover the
representativeness of the different degrees of the Faculty of Physical Culture
Sciences of the Autonomous University of Chihuahua. The age of the
participants fluctuated between 18 and 36 years (mean = 20.8 ± 2.4 years).
The sample was randomly divided into two parts using the Statistical
Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) in its version 18.0; in order to carry
out parallel studies that would corroborate and verify the results obtained
Subsample 1 was made up of 342 subjects. The ages fluctuate between
18 and 36 years, with a mean of 20.9 and a standard deviation of 2.4 years.
Subsample 2 was composed of 309 subjects. The ages fluctuate
between 18 and 35 years, with a mean of 20.6 and a standard deviation of 2.4
The ABPEF of Niñerola et al. (2006) consists of 17 items, which is
respond according to a Likert scale of 0 to 10 points, where values close to 0
indicate "an unlikely reason that impede me from exercising in the next few
weeks", and values close to 10 indicate a "very likely reason that impede me
from practicing physical exercise." For our study, two adaptations to the
version of Niñerola et al. (2006) were made: (a) the first one was to change
some terms used in the items of the original version in order to use a language
more appropriate to the context of Mexican culture; (B) the second consisted
in applying the instrument by means of a computer (figure 1), thus allowing
the storage of the data without previous coding, with greater accuracy and
Students of the degrees offered at the Faculty of Physical Culture of
the Autonomous University of Chihuahua were invited to participate. Those
who agreed to participate signed the consent letter. Then, the instrument
described above was applied in the laboratories of the mentioned Faculty by
means of a personal computer (manager module of the instrument of the editor
of typical scales of execution), in a session of approximately 30 minutes. At
the beginning of each session students were given a brief introduction on the
importance of the study and how to access the instrument; they were asked the
utmost sincerity and they were guaranteed the confidentiality of the data
obtained. Instructions on how to respond were in the first screens; before the
first instrument item. At the end of the session they were thanked for their
participation. Finally, the results were compiled using the results generator
module of the scale editor, version 2.0
(Blanco et al., 2013)
The first step in the analysis of the psychometric properties of the
questionnaire was to calculate the mean, standard deviations, asymmetry,
kurtosis and discrimination indexes for each item. In order to eliminate from
the scale those that obtain kurtosis or extreme asymmetry or a discrimination
index below .35.
Then, two measurement models were compared: the ABPEF-4, which
responds to a four factor structure according to the original distribution of the
items in the questionnaire and the ABPEF-4b that responds to the factorial
structure of the previous model, eliminating the items that were not
sufficiently explained by that model.
Lastly, a factor invariance analysis of the better model obtained was
conducted, following the recommendations of Abalo et al. (2006), the
reliability of each of the dimensions was calculated using the Cronbach’s
(Elosua & Zumbo, 2008; Nunnally & Bernstein, 1995)
and the omega
coefficient Omega (Revelle & Zinbarg, 2009; Sijtsma, 2009).
A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted for the first sub-sample
using the software AMOS 21
. The error variances were
specified as free parameters. In each latent variable (factor) one of the
structural coefficients associated was fixed to the value of one in order to make
its scale equal to one of the observed variables (items). The maximum
likelihood estimation method, following Thompson’s (2004)
recommendations, was conducted to compare the fit indices of several
alternative models to select the best one.
In the fit model assessment, the chi-squared test, the adjusted goodness
of fit index (GFI), and the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA)
were used as absolute fit indices. The adjusted goodness-of-fit index (AGFI),
the Tucker-Lewis index (TLI) and the comparative fit index (CFI) were used
as incremental fit indices. Chi-squared divided by degrees of freedom
(CMIN/df), and the Akaike information criterion (AIC) were used as
parsimony fit indices
(Byrne, 2010; Gelabert et al., 2011)
Responses to all items in the total sample reflect mean scores ranging
from 0.85 and 3.26, and the standard deviation in all cases is greater than 1.9
(within a range of responses between 0 and 10). Most values of asymmetry
and kurtosis are within the range ± 2.0 and ± 4.0, respectively, so it is inferred
that the variables are reasonably adjusted to a normal distribution. Regarding
discrimination indexes, all items satisfactorily discriminated with indexes
(Brzoska and Razum, 2010)
Confirmatory factor analysis
The overall results of the confirmatory factor analysis in sub-sample 1
(GFI .833, RMSEA .109; CFI .868) and sub-sample 2 (GFI .861;
RMSEA .095; CFI .893) for model ABPEF-4 corresponding to a structure of
four factors according to the original distribution of the items within the
questionnaire, indicated that the measurement model was not acceptable
The four factors of the ABPEF-4 model, both subsamples, explained
approximately 68% of the variance. On the other hand, six of the 17 items in
the first sub-sample saturated below .70 in their expected dimension (items 1,
2, 5, 7, 14 and 17) and six in the second sub-sample (items 1, 2, 4, 5, 14 and
17). Also, high intercorrelations among the factors are observed, evidencing a
not very adequate discriminant validity between them.
The overall results of the confirmatory factor analysis in the first
(GFI.914, RMSEA.092; CFI.945) and second subsample (GFI.932;
RMSEA.076; CFI .959), of the second model tested (ABPEF-4b) that
responds to the factorial structure of the previous model (ABPEF-4),
eliminating items 1, 2, 5 and 14 that were not sufficiently well explained,
indicated that the measurement model ABPEF-4b was better than the previous
model and that its fit was acceptable (Table 1). The four factors of this model
explained, in both subsamples, approximately 75% of the variance.
On the other hand, according to the results of Table 2, only one of the
13 items, in both subsamples, saturated below .70 in its predicted dimension
(item 17). High intercorrelations were observed among the four factors,
evidencing a not very adequate discriminant validity between them.
Invariance of the factor structure between subsamples
The fit indexes obtained (Table 3) allow to accept the equivalence of
the basic measuring models between the two subsamples. Although the value
of Chi-squared exceeds the required to accept the hypothesis of invariance, the
GFI=.904, CFI=.937, RMSEA=.069 y AIC=580.541 indexes contradict this
conclusion allowing us to accept the base model invariance (unrestricted
Adding to the base model restrictions on factorial loads the metric
invariance was characterized. The values shown in Table 3 allow to accept this
level of invariance. The goodness of fit index (GFI .899) and root mean square
error of approximation (RMSEA .068) continue to provide convergent
information in this direction. Also, the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC
591.190) and Bentler comparative fit index (CFI .933) do not suffer large
variations over the previous model. Using the criteria for the evaluation of the
nested models proposed by Cheung and Rensvold (2002), who suggest that if
the calculation of the difference of the CFI of both nested models diminish
in .01 or less, the restricted model is taken for granted therefore the compliance
of the factorial invariance. The difference of the CFIs obtained allows to
accept the metrical invariance model. We can conclude up to this point that
factorial loads are equivalent in the two subsamples.
Table 2. Standardized solutions for the confirmatory factor analysis in both subsamples.
F1 = Body Image / social physical anxiety F2 = Fatigue / Laziness F3 = Obligations / Lack
of time F4 = Environment / Facilities
Subsample 1 Subsample 2
F1 F2 F3 F4 F1 F2 F3 F4
3. Feeling uncomfortable about the way I .77
look with sports clothes
6. Feeling that my physical appearance is .78
worse than that of others
10. Thinking that other people are in better .89
shape than I
13. Thinking that others judge my physical .85
16. Feeling embarrassed because they are .65
watching me while I exercise
8. Not being "fit" to exercise
9. Lack of will to be constant
12. Notice tiredness or fatigue on a regular
basis throughout the day
4. Having too much work
7. Having too many family obligations
11. Not find time for exercise
15. Finding myself disgusted with people
who exercise with me
17. The facilities or the coaches are not
Having demonstrated the metric invariance between the subsamples,
we evaluate the equivalence between intercepts (strong factorial invariance).
The Indexes (Table 3) show a good adjustment of this model, evaluated
independent as well as analyzed toward nesting with the metric invariance
model. The difference between the two comparative indices of Bentler is .003;
and the general fit index is .895 and the root mean square error of
approximation is .067. Accepted then the strong invariance, the two evaluated
models are equivalent toward the factorial coefficients and the intercepts.
Table 3. Goodness of fit indexes of each of the models tested in the factorial invariance.
* p < .05; GFI = goodness-of-fit index; NFI = normed fit index; CFI = comparative fit index;
RMSEA = root mean square error of approximation; AIC = Akaike information criterion
Model Fit indexes
Model without restrictions
Strong factor invariance
The main objective of the study was to inquire whether or not the
psychometric results proposed by Niñerola et al. (2006) replicate, for the
SelfReport of "Barriers to Practice Physical Exercise" through a sample of
Mexican university students using Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA).
Confirmatory factorial analyzes support the factorial structure of four
factors: (body image, fatigue, obligations and environment) obtained by
Niñerola et al. (2006) as evidencing an adequate internal consistency,
particularly considering the reduced number of items in each of them. At the
same time, the factors thus obtained presented, in general, adequate
standardized factorial saturations, which correspond to the structure proposed
for the original questionnaire, except for the elimination of items 1, 2, 5 and
On the other hand, the results of the analysis of factorial invariance
between the subsamples studied indicated a high congruence between pairs of
factors. This suggests the existence of strong evidence of the cross-validation
of the measure and therefore of the stability of the structure, until it is proved
In summary, the analysis of the psychometric properties of the
questionnaire has shown that a four factor structure is feasible and adequate
according to the psychometric requirements established when the informants
are the teachers themselves.
The structure of four factors, based on statistical and substantive
criteria, has shown adequate indicators of adjustment, reliability and validity.
However, the scope of these results is limited, and it is necessary for future
research to confirm the structure obtained, which will allow for more robust
evidence regarding the factorial structure of the scale. Specifically, it must be
demonstrated if the invariance of the structure of the scale is fulfilled by
gender, age and sports discipline among others. It is therefore considered that
more studies are necessary in order to corroborate or refute the data obtained
in the investigations carried out so far. It is also essential to check whether the
questionnaire is useful to explain the lack of motivation and adherence to the
beginning and maintenance of active behavior.
Secretaría de Educación Pública-Subsecretaría de Educación
SuperiorDirección General de Educación Superior Universitaria de México [Mexican
Ministry of Education-Department of Higher Education-General Directorate
of the University Education] (DE-13 -6894) financed this study.
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