Examining physical literacy in young adults: psychometric properties of the PLAYself

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The PLAYself is a commonly utilized tool to assess physical literacy in child and adolescent populations. Currently, there are no measurement tools designed to examine physical literacy among adults. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine the psychometric properties of PLAYself subsections in a sample of young adults. Two hundred forty-five young adults (ages 18–25) from the United States completed the PLAYself questionnaire. Multiple principal component analyses using pro-max rotation were utilized to assess the current factor structure of the PLAYself subsections. Each subsection was analyzed in-dependently to explore individual summary components. PLAYself subsections were assessed for reliability using Cronbach’s α, inter-item correlations, and item-total correlations. A multi-factor structure was identified for each PLAYself subsection. A 2-factor structure was identified for the Environment subsection accounting for 55.2% of the variance. A 2-factor structure was identified for the Physical Literacy Self-Description subsection accounting for 57.1% of the variance. A 3-factor structure was identified for the Relative Ranking of Literacies subsection accounting for 70.3% of the variance. The Environment, Physical Literacy Self-Description, and Relative Ranking of Literacies subsections demonstrated poor (α = 0.577), good (α = 0.89), and acceptable (α = 0.79) internal consistencies, respectively. The Physical Literacy Self-Description subsection demonstrated the best psychometric properties in our sample, and thus may be an appropriate tool to assess physical literacy in a young adult population until additional measurement tools are developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-932
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
As part of a larger study investigating correlates of health behaviors among young adults, individuals were recruited to participate in an online cross-sectional survey that was hosted at a large, research-intensive university, using social media postings and ResearchMatch. ResearchMatch is a national health volunteer registry that was created by several academic institutions and supported by the US National Institutes of Health as a part of the Clinical Translational Science Award program. ResearchMatch has a large population of volunteers who have consented to be contacted by researchers about health studies for which they may be eligible. Thus, participants were sampled from across the Unites States. Participants were included if they were between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Participants were excluded if they reported a current injury or any condition that limited their ability to participate in physical activity.

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge that this project was supported by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through grant number UL1TR001998. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s).


  • adults
  • exercise
  • physical activity
  • physical literacy
  • principal component analysis
  • reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)


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