The Roles of Behavioral and Implementation Intentions in Changing Physical Activity in Young Children With Low Socioeconomic Status

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of Sheffield
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There is a dearth of research examining physical activity in children aged 6–10 years with low socioeconomic status, despite the fact there is good reason to suspect this is a critical period when physical activity habits are created. Physical activity and theory of planned behavior variables were measured at three time points, and children (N = 77) randomized to the experimental condition were additionally asked to form an implementation intention. Intention was a potent mediator of the past behavior–future behavior relationship and the implementation intention intervention significantly increased physical activity compared with the control condition. The findings suggest that physical activity can be increased in children aged 6–10 years with low socioeconomic status and that implementation intentions might enhance the effectiveness of children’s physical activity programs.

Armitage is with the Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom. Sprigg is with the Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.

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