Unveiling the Mosaic of Identity: Illuminating Intersectionality through a Delphi Process for Quantitative Questionnaire Development


Objectives: To develop and validate a landmark survey tool that will quantify intersectionality in large-scale, population-based sample surveys, using intersectionality-based experiences of physical activity participation as its developmental terrain. Methods: Drawing on qualitative scholarship on intersectionality and existing quantitative surveys that assess social positions, we created a draft questionnaire comprising five modules: 1) sex/gender identity/gender expression, 2) sexual orientation/sexuality, 3) race/ethnicity/(im)migration/religion/language/Indigeneity, 4) (dis)ability/health/physical appearance, and 5) socioeconomic status. A draft of the questionnaire was then reviewed by experts via the Delphi approach, with agreement among 75% of participants and response stability across multiple rounds as determinants of consensus. Results: Qualitative studies (n=199) informed the development of outward-facing items, capturing how individuals are perceived by others. Pre-existing survey items (n=77) informed the creation of self-identifying items, reflecting how individuals self-identify. A draft of the questionnaire, consisting of 27 items, was then evaluated by experts following the three rounds of Delphi surveys, which gauged the accessibility of the questionnaire (e.g., language used, length) and content using 5-point Likert scale. Experts also provided feedback via responses to open-ended questions that guided the revision of the questionnaire. These responses were ranked, analyzed, and synthesized to obtain ≥75% consensus. Conclusion: The developed questionnaire represents a significant step forward in advancing understanding of the complex, intersectional nature of social participation and marginalization. Its application across various topics in physical activity and health research promises to enrich and inform future investigations in the field.