Maturity Associated Variance in Physical Activity and Health-Related Quality of Life in Adolescent Females: A Mediated Effects Model

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Joan E. Hunter Smart
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Sean P. Cumming
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Lauren B. Sherar
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Martyn Standage
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Helen Neville
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Robert M. Malina
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Background:

This study tested a mediated effects model of psychological and behavioral adaptation to puberty within the context of physical activity (PA).

Methods:

Biological maturity status, physical self-concept, PA, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were assessed in 222 female British year 7 to 9 pupils (mean age = 12.7 years, SD = .8).

Results:

Structural equation modeling using maximum likelihood estimation and bootstrapping procedures supported the hypothesized model. Maturation status was inversely related to perceptions of sport competence, body attractiveness, and physical condition; and indirectly and inversely related to physical self-worth, PA, and HRQoL. Examination of the bootstrap-generated bias-corrected confidence intervals representing the direct and indirect paths between suggested that physical self-concept partially mediated the relations between maturity status and PA, and maturity status and HRQoL.

Conclusions:

Evidence supports the contention that perceptions of the physical self partially mediate relations maturity, PA, and HRQoL in adolescent females.

Hunter Smart, Cumming, Standage, and Neville are with the School for Health, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom. Sherar is with the College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Malina is Professor Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin, and Research Professor, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, TX.

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