Regular physical activity is defined as a planned, structured, energy-consuming activity performed on a repeated basis, with specific health goals including improved physical functioning and/or fitness [1
]. Current clinical guidelines suggest that adults engage in 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (PA) on all or most days of the week for health promotion and maintenance [2
]. Despite the health benefits of regular physical activity in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, obesity, and other chronic conditions, approximately 50% of older adults do not participate in regular PA and have no intention to initiate regular physical activity [3
Korean Americans are one of the most rapidly growing immigrant populations in the United States. Among older Korean Americans, high blood pressure has been identified as a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), followed by high blood cholesterol and overweight [4
]. When compared to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) data, the prevalence of high blood pressure among Korean American elders (71.2%) was higher than in whites and Hispanics, but it was similar to that for African Americans. Data from the California Health Interview Survey [5
] indicate that Asian Americans were much less likely to meet recommended levels of leisure time physical activity and had lower estimated weekly energy expenditure than US-born non-Asians.
Self-regulation, a psychological concept that has been broadly studied across disciplines, including behavioral medicine and social sciences, is recognized as important to fostering personal control, goal-directed behaviors through selective processing of information, behavioral monitoring, judging individual performance, and self-evaluation [6
]. Self-regulation has been used to describe and predict adherence to cardiovascular risk-reducing behaviors, including regular physical activity [7
]. Self-regulatory mechanisms are key to understanding volitional aspects of behavior change in that they reflect the ways in which people attempt to behave in accordance with personal goals, particularly when goals conflict or lead to differential rewards over time. Brawley and colleagues [11
] emphasize self-regulation skills as essential to promoting physical activity maintenance in older adults. In a convenience sample of older adults, Umstattd and colleagues [12
] found that self-regulatory strategies were associated with all forms of current physical activity participation, including moderate-to-vigorous activity.
The index of self-regulation (ISR), an English-language questionnaire developed by Fleury [13
], is a nine-item scale designed to measure level of self-regulation for health behavior change. The initial step in instrument development consisted of an exploratory study to identify the psychological and social processes used to initiate and sustain health behavior over time [14
]. Qualitative data explicated the meaning of self-regulation as a concept central to the maintenance of behavioral change and provided a conceptual basis for instrument development, including the subconcepts of reconditioning, stimulus control, and self-monitoring. Reconditioning reflects attempts to narrow the range of stimuli associated with risk-producing behavior; stimulus control indicates attempts to strengthen maintenance of behavioral change through focusing on positive aspects of risk modification, and behavioral monitoring refers to the assessment of adherence to self-determined criteria for goal achievement. Psychometric properties of the ISR have been supported in health promotion studies with ethnically diverse populations [13
]. Subscale alpha reliability has ranged from
.86. Construct validity was examined though path analysis correlating ISR subscales with theoretically related constructs of motivation appraisal and the performance of physical activity [13
]. Efforts to develop and evaluate the psychometric properties of the ISR have been successful and suggest that the ISR is a promising tool for measuring self-regulation for maintenance of behavioral change.
Although the concept of self-regulation holds promise for fostering long-term health behavior change, reliable and valid measures of self-regulatory skills related to the maintenance of physical activity in older Korean Americans have yet to be developed and tested. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to test the psychometric properties of the Korean version of the index of self-regulation (KISR), including reliability and validity, in a group of older Korean Americans residing in the U.S.