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Measurement Invariance and Psychometric Evaluation of the Tendency to Avoid Physical Activity and Sport Scale (TAPAS) Among Mainland Chinese University Students.

INTRODUCTION: Preventative factors in young people's physical inactivity require further understanding, including related psychosocial factors (eg, body image and weight stigma). The Tendency to Avoid Physical Activity and Sport Scale (TAPAS) is a recently developed instrument to address this issue and the present study examined its psychometric properties among Chinese university students particularly in relation to patterns across sex, physical activity (PA) level, and weight status.

METHODS: Using a convenience sample of 3142 students (mean age = 19.8 years; 56% female) in mainland China, data were collected using an online survey between August and October 2022. Psychometric instruments including the Weight Bias Internalization Scale, 21-item Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, and International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form were administered along with the TAPAS to assess convergent and discriminant validity. Multi-group confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) assessed the measurement invariance across specific groups.

RESULTS: The unidimensional structure of the scale was confirmed through CFA (CFI=0.995; RMSEA=0.046). All configural, metric and scalar models of invariance indicated that the scale was invariant across sex, PA level, and weight status. Acceptable convergent and discriminant validity for the scale were found.

CONCLUSION: The TAPAS is a suitable instrument to assess body image and weight stigma concerns for avoiding physical activity and sport among Chinese university students.

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