Predicting Physical Activity in 10-12 Year Old Children: A Social Ecological Approach

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education

Click name to view affiliation

Tao ZhangUniversity of North Texas

Search for other papers by Tao Zhang in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Katherine ThomasUniversity of North Texas

Search for other papers by Katherine Thomas in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Karen WeillerUniversity of North Texas

Search for other papers by Karen Weiller in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations among predisposing (perceived competence and enjoyment), reinforcing (social environments), enabling factors (motor skills, fitness, physical environments) and physical activity among 288 children, and to identify the age and gender differences among participants. The children completed previously validated questionnaires assessing their perceived competence, enjoyment, school social and physical environments, and physical activity. Physical fitness was measured by FITNESSGRAM fitness testing. Students’ motor skills were assessed by PE Metrics. The results indicated that perceived competence and enjoyment predicted physical activity for boys, while perceived competence was the only predictor for girls. Age effects for fitness and skill were significant, as were gender differences for skill, social environment and perceived competence. This study suggests the importance of supportive teachers who provide enjoyable physical education that builds perceived competence for children to improve fitness, motor skill development and physical activity participation. The results support associations between predisposing factors and self-reported physical activity as theorized within the social ecological model.

The authors are with the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation, University of North Texas, Denton, TX.

Address author correspondence to Tao Zhang at tao.zhang@unt.edu.
  • Collapse
  • Expand
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1417 754 165
Full Text Views 56 22 3
PDF Downloads 62 22 3