Purpose: Dog owners represent 40% of the population, a promising audience to increase population levels of physical activity. The purpose of this study was to develop and test the psychometric properties of a new instrument to assess social cognitive theory (SCT) constructs related to dog walking. Methods: Dog owners (N=431) completed the Dogs and WalkinG Survey (DAWGS). Survey items assessed dog walking behaviors, and self-efficacy, social support, outcome expectations, and outcome expectancies for dog walking. Test-retest reliability was assessed among 252 (58%) survey respondents who completed the survey twice. Factorial validity and factorial invariance by age and walking level were tested using confirmatory factor analysis. Results: DAWGS items demonstrated moderate test-retest reliability (r=.39-.79; k=.41-.89). Acceptable model fit was found for all subscales. All subscales were invariant by age and walking level, except self-efficacy, which showed mixed evidence of invariance. Conclusions: The DAWGS is a psychometrically sound instrument for examining individual and interpersonal correlates of dog walking.


This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article submitted for consideration in the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport [copyright Taylor & Francis]; Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport is available online at http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/02701367.2013.839935."


confirmatory factor analysis, measurement invariance, physical activity, social cognitive theory

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