Construct validity of four exercise stage of change measures in adults


  • We gratefully acknowledge the editorial assistance of Dr. Phyllis Dexter and Dr. Marion Broome, and funding from Sigma Theta Tau International Xi Pi Chapter at Illinois State University and Nu Chi Chapter at the University of Missouri, St. Louis.

  • A poster was presented on this topic at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting in May 2008.


Measuring readiness to exercise, or exercise stage of change (ESOC), is an important first step when counseling adults about exercise. However, minimal construct validity testing of ESOC measures has been reported. With a sample of 95 adults, we estimated the construct validity of four ESOC measures with commonly used response formats (true/false, ladder, 5 choice, interview). Participants completed all four ESOC measures in random order as well as six validation measures: physical activity performed, exercise self-efficacy, decisional balance pros and cons, and behavioral and experiential processes of change. Few participants were in the earliest stage of change. The true/false measure demonstrated the strongest validity. Further studies are needed in diverse samples with more representation across the stages of change. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 33:254–264, 2010