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Validation of the Basic Psychological Needs in Exercise Scale in a Portuguese Sample

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2013

João Miguel Raimundo Peres Moutão*
Escuela Superior de Deporte de Rio Maior (Portugal)
Luis Filipe Cid Serra
Escuela Superior de Deporte de Rio Maior (Portugal)
José Augusto Marinho Alves
Escuela Superior de Deporte de Rio Maior (Portugal)
José Carlos Leitão
Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (Portugal)
Symeon P. Vlachopoulos
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to João Moutão. Escola Superior de Desporto de Rio Maior, Av. Dr. Mário Soares, Pavilhão Multiusos 2040-413 Rio Maior (Portugal). E-mail:


In line with self-determination theory (SDT: Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2002) the satisfaction of the basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness has been identified as an important predictor of behavior and optimal functioning in various contexts including exercise. The lack of a valid and reliable instrument to assess the extent to which these needs are fulfilled among Portuguese exercise participants limits the evaluation of causal links proposed by SDT in the Portuguese exercise context. The aim of the present study was to translate into Portuguese and validate the Basic Psychological Needs in Exercise Scale (BPNES: Vlachopoulos & Michailidou, 2006). Using data from 522 exercise participants the findings provided evidence of strong internal consistency of the translated BPNES subscales while confirmatory factor analysis supported a good fit of the correlated 3-factor model to the data. The present findings support the use of the translated into Portuguese BPNES to assess the extent of basic psychological need fulfilment among Portuguese exercise participants.

De acuerdo con la teoría de la autodeterminación (TAD: Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2002) la satisfacción de las necesidades psicológicas básicas de autonomía, competencia y relación ha sido identificada como un importante instrumento para predecir un óptimo comportamiento y funcionamiento en diversos contextos, incluyendo el del ejercicio. La falta de un instrumento válido y fiable para evaluar la percepción que tienen los practicantes de ejercicio portugueses de que estas necesidades se satisfacen limita la evaluación de las relaciones causales propuestas por la TAD en esta población. El objeto del presente estudio ha sido traducir al portugués y validar la Basic Psychological Needs in Exercise Scale (BPNES: Vlachopoulos & Michailidou, 2006). Los resultados obtenidos a través de 522 practicantes de ejercicio ponen de manifiesto una fuerte consistencia interna de las subescalas de la versión traducida de la BPNES, mientras que el análisis factorial confirmatorio soportó el ajuste del modelo original de 3 factores correlacionados. Estos resultados dan soporte inicial al uso de la versión traducida al portugués de la BPNES para la evaluación de la satisfacción de las necesidades psicológicas básicas en practicantes de ejercicio portugueses.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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