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J Urban Health. 2012 Apr;89(2):258-69. doi: 10.1007/s11524-011-9650-x.

Internal consistency, concurrent validity, and discriminant validity of a measure of public support for policies for active living in transportation (PAL-T) in a population-based sample of adults.

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  • 1Centre de recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada.


Active living is a broad conceptualization of physical activity that incorporates domains of exercise; recreational, household, and occupational activities; and active transportation. Policy makers develop and implement a variety of transportation policies that can influence choices about how to travel from one location to another. In making such decisions, policy makers act in part in response to public opinion or support for proposed policies. Measures of the public's support for policies aimed at promoting active transportation can inform researchers and policy makers. This study examined the internal consistency, and concurrent and discriminant validity of a newly developed measure of the public's support for policies for active living in transportation (PAL-T). A series of 17 items representing potential policies for promoting active transportation was generated. Two samples of participants (n = 2,001 and n = 2,502) from Montreal, Canada, were recruited via random digit dialling. Analyses were conducted on the combined data set (n = 4,503). Participants were aged 18 through 94 years (58% female). The concurrent and discriminant validity of the PAL-T was assessed by examining relationships with physical activity and smoking. To explore the usability of the PAL-T, predicted scale scores were compared to the summed values of responses. Results showed that the internal consistency of the PAL-T was 0.70. Multilevel regression demonstrated no relationship between the PAL-T and smoking status (p > 0.05) but significant relationships with utilitarian walking (p < 0.05) and cycling (p < 0.01) for at least 30 minutes on 5 days/week. The PAL-T has acceptable internal consistency and good concurrent and discriminant validity. Measuring public opinion can inform policy makers and support advocacy efforts aimed at making built environments more suitable for active transportation while allowing researchers to examine the antecedents and consequences of public support for policies.

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