The physical activity-environment relationship has been infrequently investigated in Chinese children. Reliable and valid environmental measures specific to the age group and the local context are crucial for better understanding this relationship. The purposes of this study were to adapt the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale for youth (NEWS-Y) for Chinese children (termed NEWS-CC), and to examine the reliability and factorial validity of the NEWS-CC.
The development of the NEWS-CC involved the translation of the NEWS-Y to Chinese and the addition of nine new items capturing Hong Kong specific environmental attributes which were generated in our previous study. A total of 953 Hong Kong children aged 9–14 years volunteered to complete the NEWS-CC twice with 7–14 days apart. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed to examine the factorial validity of the NEWS-CC. Test-retest reliability of subscales and individual items in the NEWS-CC was examined by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs).
The CFA identified a 7-factor measurement model for the NEWS-CC which fitted the data well, with an additional “pollution” factor not included in the original NEWS-Y. The final NEWS-CC consisted of 67 items in 10 subscales. The test-retest reliability of subscales (range of ICC = 0.47–0.86) and individual items (range of ICC = 0.41–0.79) in the final NEWS-CC was moderate to good.
The results of this study support the psychometric properties of the NEWS-CC. The NEWS-CC can be used to assess physical activity-related neighborhood environment among children in Hong Kong, as well as cities that share similar urban forms with Hong Kong.