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Behavioral Regulation Assessment in Exercise: Exploring an Autonomous and Controlled Motivation Index

  • Luis Cid (a1), João Moutão (a1), José Leitão (a2) and José Alves (a3)

The main purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Portuguese version of the Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire (BREQ-2) and to test the hypothesis that the different types of behavioral regulation can be combined on a single factor to assess autonomous and controlled motivation. Data were collected from 550 members of private fitness centres who ranged in age from 14 to 69 years. The analysis supported an 18-item, 5-factor model after excluding one item (S-Bχ2 = 221.7, df = 125, p = .000, S-Bχ2/df = 1.77; SRMR = .06; NNFI = .90; CFI = .92; RMSEA = .04, 90% CI = .03-.05). However, the analysis also revealed a lack of internal consistency. The results of a hierarchical model based on 2 second-order factors that reflected controlled motivation (external and introjected regulation) and autonomous motivation (identified and intrinsic regulation) provided an acceptable fit to the data (S-Bχ2 = 172.6, df = 74, p = .000, SB-χ2/df = 2.33; SRMR = .07; NNFI = .90; CFI = .92; RMSEA= .05, 90% CI = .04-.06), with reliability coefficients of .75 for controlled motivation and .76 for autonomous motivation. The study findings indicated that when item 17 was excluded, the Portuguese BREQ-2 was an appropriate measure of the controlled and autonomous motivation in exercise.

El objetivo principal de este estudio fue examinar las cualidades psicométricas de la versión portuguesa de Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire (BREQ-2) y probar la hipótesis de un modelo jerárquico que permitiese evaluar la motivación autónoma y la motivación controladora a través de un único factor. En el estudio participaron 550 practicantes de ejercicio físico en gimnasios, con edades comprendidas entre los 14 y los 69 años. Los resultados soportan la adecuación de un modelo de 5 factores y 18 ítems, tras la exclusión de un ítem (S-Bχ2 = 221.7; df = 125; p = .000; SB-χ2/df = 1.77; SRMR = .06; NNFI = .90; CFI = .92; RMSEA = .04; 90% IC RMSEA = .03-.05). No obstante, este análisis también reveló la falta de consistencia interna de algunos factores. Los resultados del modelo jerárquico con dos factores de 2º orden, que incluyen la motivación controladora (regulación externa e introyectada) y la motivación autónoma (regulación identificada e intrínseca), revelaron valores de ajuste aceptables (S-Bχ2 = 172.6; df = 74; p = 0.000; S-Bχ2/df = 2.33; SRMR = .07; NNFI = .90; CFI = .92; RMSEA = .05; 90% IC RMSEA = .04-.06), así como una consistencia interna razonable (motivación controlada .75 y motivación autónoma .76). De este modo, se concluye que la versión portuguesa de BREQ-2 (con la exclusión del ítem 17), puede ser utilizada en la evaluación de la motivación controladora y autónoma (a través de la combinación de sus factores), en el contexto del ejercicio practicado en gimnasios.

Corresponding author
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Luís Cid. Escola Superior de Desporto de Rio Maior (ESDRM-IPS). Av. Dr. Mário Soares, Pavilhão Multiusos, 2040-413 Rio Maior (Portugal). E-mail:
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