Gender Similarities and Differences in Factors Associated with Adolescent Moderate-Vigorous Physical Activity

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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This study investigated the relationship between predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling factors conceptualized within the Youth Physical Activity Promotion Model (YPAP) and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) of adolescent males and females. Specifically, self-efficacy to overcome barriers, enjoyment of physical activity; family support, peer support, perceived school climate, neighborhood safety and access to physical activity were examined. The Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A) and the Actigraph 7164 were used to obtain three different measures of MVPA in 205 adolescents (102 males, 103 females). Family support emerged as the most significant and consistent factor associated with the MVPA of both adolescent males and females. This relationship was noted even when different methods of measuring MVPA were employed. These findings should increase the confidence of public health officials that family support has the potential to positively alter the physical activity behavior of adolescents.

Wenthe is with the Dept. of Occupational Therapy, St. Ambrose University, Davenport, IA 52803. Janz is with the Dept. of Health and Sport Studies, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242. Levy is with the Dept. of Preventive and Community Dentistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242.