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The Behavioural Regulation In Exercise Questionnaire (BREQ)

The Behavioural Regulation In Exercise Questionnaire (BREQ) and its subsequent modifications have become the most widely used measures of the continuum of behavioural regulation in exercise psychology research. The original BREQ developed by Mullan, Markland & Ingledew (1997) was developed to measure external, introjected, identified and intrinsic forms of regulation of exercise behaviour based on Deci & Ryan’s (1985, 1991) continuum conception of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, described by Organismic Integration Theory. 

Subsequently, the BREQ has been modified and advanced by the Exercise Motivation Lab at the School of Sport Health & Exercise Sciences at Bangor University. More information on the development of the BREQ as well as the various versions and scoring can be found on the Lab’s research page at: http://exercise-motivation.bangor.ac.uk/breq/breqmain.php

Note: The initial BREQ item pool included items designed to tap amotivation but these were dropped during preliminary analyses because, due to the nature of the development sample, the items exhibited very high levels of skewness. Nevertheless, the Exercise Motivation Lab at Bangor recognized that with more general samples, amotivation is an issue worth exploring. For this reason we (Markland & Tobin, 2004) reinstated the amotivation items in a second version of the instrument, called the BREQ-2. 

In common with some other measures of the behavioural regulation continuum in different contexts, the BREQ-2 does not include an integrated regulation subscale. This is because, in the initial stages of the development of the instrument, it was found to be difficult to distinguish empirically between integration and identified regulation on the one hand and intrinsic regulation on the other hand. However, Wilson, Rodgers, Loitz, and Scime (2006) added an integration subscale to the instrument which works well. And, this version has incorporated this subscale into the instrument to produce the BREQ-3. The BREQ-3 also includes a new additional introjection item. 

If you use the BREQ-3, please cite both Markland and Tobin (2004) and Wilson et al. (2006) in any subsequent papers or reports (see references below).

Scoring Information for the scale can be found at: http://exercise-motivation.bangor.ac.uk/breq/brqscore.php

A BREQ-4 version was developed by Teixeira, Rodrigues, Monteiro, & Cid (2022) for a Portuguese population. That version (with English translation too) of their BREQ-4 can be found below under Translations.  



(1997) Personality and Individual Differences

A graded conceptualisation of self-determination in the regulation of exercise behaviour: Development of a measure using confirmatory factor analytic procedures

Mullan, E.. Markland, D. A. Ingledew, D. K.

(2004) Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

A modification to the Behavioural Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire to include an assessment of amotivation

Markland, D. A. Tobin, V.

(2006) Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research

It's who I am...really! The importance of integrated regulation in exercise contexts

Wilson, P. M. Rodgers, W. M. Loitz, C. Scime, G.

Validation Articles

(1997) Motivation and Emotion

Variations in self-determination across the stages of change for exercise in adults

Mullan, E.

(2004) Personality and Individual Differences

Personality and self-determination of exercise behaviour

Ingledew, D. K. Markland, D. A. Sheppard, K. E.

(2008) Psychology and Health

The role of motives in exercise participation

Ingledew, D.K.

(2012) Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

Exercise, physical activity, and self-determination theory: A systematic review [Electronic version]

Teixeira, P. J. Carraça, E. V. Markland, D. A. Silva, M. N. Ryan, R. M.

(2018) Frontiers in Psychology

The behavioral regulation in exercise questionnaire (BREQ-3) Portuguese-version: Evidence of reliability, validity and invariance across gender

Cid, L. Monteiro, D. Teixeira, D. Teques, P. Alves, S. Moutão, J. Silva, M. N. Palmeira, A.