The Classroom Environment Questionnaire (CEQ): Development and preliminary structural validity

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Background/aim: Occupational therapists offer a unique perspective regarding the contribution of the environment to occupational performance. Therefore, a scale that measures the unique characteristics of the primary school classroom environment where children complete their daily schoolwork occupations is needed. The aim of this study was to develop and psychometrically evaluate a new teacher-report questionnaire that measures a number of environmental characteristics of primary school classrooms. Methods: Participants (N = 117) completed the Classroom Environment Questionnaire (CEQ), which utilises a 4-point Likert scale where teachers rate 51 environmental characteristics of their classroom. Teachers also rate the extent to which they believe the physical, social, temporal, institutional and cultural classroom environmental domains contribute to students' schoolwork performance using a 10-point scale. The structural validity of the CEQ was examined using principal component analysis (PCA). Inter-item correlations were examined using Pearson r correlations, while the internal consistency of the CEQ was assessed using Cronbach's alpha. Results: PCA revealed the CEQ to be multidimensional, with 31 items loading onto nine viable factors, representing the unique nature of classroom environments. Based on the PCA results, 20 items were removed from the CEQ. Cronbach's alpha and correlation analysis indicated that most CEQ subsections had acceptable internal consistency (alpha range 0.70-0.82), with four subsections demonstrating a lower level of internal consistency (alpha range 0.55-0.69). Conclusion: Preliminary structural validity and internal consistency analysis findings confirm that the CEQ has potential to be a useful scale for professionals wishing to examine the unique characteristics of primary school classrooms that influence the occupational performance of students. Ongoing analyses will be undertaken to further explore the CEQ's validity and reliability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-375
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Assessment
  • Classroom
  • Environment
  • School-based practice
  • Validation

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