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Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2008 Apr 29;5:24. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-5-24.

Validity and reliability of a home environment inventory for physical activity and media equipment.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.



Little is known about how the home environmental supports physical activity and screen media usage. The purpose of this study was to develop and test the reliability and validity of a self-report instrument to comprehensively reflect the availability and accessibility of physical activity and screen media equipment in the home environment.


Ten families participated in the initial field testing to provide feedback for instrument development. Thirty one adult participants, each of whom had at least one child 10-17 years old, completed two Physical Activity and Media Inventory (PAMI) instruments. The first PAMI was completed simultaneously, but independently, with a research assistant to assess validity. A second PAMI was completed by the participant one week later to assess reliability.


The adult participants were mostly mothers/female guardians, mean age 38 +/- 7.2 years, mostly Caucasian (52%), college educated (65%), living in single family homes (74%). Test-retest reliability was acceptable to strong for all summary variables (physical activity equipment, ICC = 0.76 to 0.99; media equipment, ICC = 0.72 to 0.96). For validation, reports from participants and research assistants were strongly correlated (physical activity, 0.67 - 0.98; media, 0.79 - 0.96). Compared to participants, research assistants reported a greater percentage of physical activity equipment as "in plain view and easy to get to" and a smaller percentage of items as "put away and difficult to get to".


Our results indicate strong evidence for the reliability and validity of the variables calculated from the PAMI. This self report inventory may be useful in assessing the availability of physical activity and screen media equipment in the home environment and could be used in conjunction with other home assessment tools (food availability, parenting styles and feeding practices) to identify obesogenic home environments.

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