The tendency to avoid physical activity and sport scale (TAPAS): Rasch analysis with differential item functioning testing among a Chinese sample

Chia-Wei Fan, Yen-Ling Chang, Po-Ching Huang, Xavier C.C. Fung, Ji-Kang Chen, Nadia Bevan, Kerry S. O’Brien, Ya-Chin Yeh, Hsin-Pao Chen, I-Hua Chen, I-Ching Lin, Mark D. Griffiths, Chung-Ying Lin

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Background: The benefits of physical activity are well-known to prevent multiple long-term health conditions. Physical appearance and weight-related stigma may influence individuals’ decision to engage in physical activity and sport. Therefore, the present study examined the psychometric properties of a newly developed instrument, the Tendency to Avoid Physical Activity and Sport Scale (TAPAS), using modern test theory. Methods: A total of 2319 university students were recruited from mainland China and they completed the TAPAS. Rasch analysis was used to examine the TAPAS’ rating scaling functioning, test unidimensionality, item hierarchy, ceiling and floor effects, and differential item functioning (DIF). Moreover, the concurrent validity of the TAPAS was examined using the Weight Self-Stigma Questionnaire (WSSQ), Weight Bias Internalization Scale (WBIS), and body mass index (BMI). Results: Unidimensionality was confirmed except for one item. Items corresponding to attitude toward physical activity were more easily adopted compared to items corresponding to actual behavioral aspects. No ceiling and floor effects were found. No DIF existed in the TAPAS items. The TAPAS was strongly correlated with both the WSSQ and WBIS, but not BMI. Conclusion: The study showed that overall, the TAPAS has robust psychometric properties. However, future research needs to address the misfit item and explore the feasibility of applying the TAPAS to other populations including wider ethnic groups, age ranges, and life stages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number369
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • China
  • Differential item functioning
  • Physical activity
  • Rasch
  • Tendency to avoid physical activity and sport scale
  • Young adults

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