Development and Application of the Motivation to Eat Healthy and Exercise During Pregnancy (MEEP Scale)

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AbstractObjectiveTo develop and apply a theory-based scale for measuring motivation to eat healthily and exercise during pregnancy.SettingOutpatient maternity clinics and antenatal classes in a local hospital covering both rural and urban populations.ParticipantsOne hundred and ninety six (196) primigravida women.MethodsThe MEEP scale was developed through transcription and modification of a previous motivational measurement scale, based on expectancy value (E-V) theory. Subsequently, a 64-item scale was constructed and validated. Initial piloting (n=20) and application of the scale was undertaken in a convenience sample of 212 primigravida women with a valid sample of 196 for analysis. Principle components analysis (PCA) was performed to refine the scale and explore any underlying factors related to women’s motivation.ResultsConstruct validity was demonstrated in that the three components emerging from the dataset were consistent with the underlying concepts of expectancy value theory. Cronbach alpha values of >.7 for all the subscales demonstrated substantial internal consistency for the three components for both diet and physical activity variables.ConclusionsThis study provides support for the reliability and validity of the MEEP scale on initial application. Further development and testing of this scale is required to confirm the factor structure and determine whether the MEEP tool is valid and reliable when applied in different settings.Keywords: Pregnancy; Diet; Exercise; Motivation; Obesity; Motivational Measurement scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)001-006
JournalBAOJ Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2 Sept 2016


  • pregnancy
  • motivation and exercise


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