Development and Validation of the Diet and Exercise Self-Talk Scale

Stacey Gaines, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, USA
David Cutton, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, USA

Theme: Mental training/interventions

Poster Number: 37

Program ID: POS-1

Presentation: October 3, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


Self-talk is an effective means of behavior modification, however previous work has focused on the use of self-talk in improving athletic performance, with little work examining its use with regard to diet and exercise behaviors (Weinberg & Forlenza, 2012). Before this relationship can be examined, the development of a valid and reliable measure of self-talk content regarding diet and exercise is necessary. Three cross-sectional studies were employed in an effort to develop and find support for the initial validation of a new measure of diet and exercise self-talk. In Study 1, a 147-item questionnaire was developed and administered to 182 participants (Mage = 26.7 years), before principal component analysis (PCA) reduced the questionnaire to a 4-factor, 89-item scale. Subsequently, Study 2 tested the factorial validity of this revised questionnaire among a sample of 168 participants (Mage = 32.8 years) in a series of confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) and exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM), yielding an 43-item scale and 4-factor model. Study 3 evaluated the construct validity of the 43-item scale using a sample of 113 participants (Mage = 34.6 years) and theoretically associated measures. Model fit from Study 2 supported the factorial validity of the new measure (ESEM: ?2(225) =323.2, CFI=.98, TLI = .96, RMSEA=.03, SRMR=.02). Study 3 provided support for the construct validity of the measure resulting in a 4-factor (i.e., Exercise-Motivational, Exercise-Informational, Diet-Motivational, Diet-Informational), 32-item scale. The present collection of studies provides initial validation of the Diet and Exercise Self-Talk Scale (DESTS) for use in a variety of populations. Further development of the model is recommended through subsequent studies examining the relationship of diet and exercise self-talk with expected psychological and behavioral outcomes.

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