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Teaching adolescents to use self-management strategies may be an effective approach to promoting lifelong physical activity (PA). However, the extent to which adolescents use self-management strategies and their impact on current PA have not been studied previously. The aims of this study were 1) to describe the prevalence of self-management strategy use in adolescents; and 2) to determine relationships between self-management strategy use, PA self-efficacy, and PA participation. 197 students completed questionnaires measuring use of self-management strategies, self-efficacy, and PA behavior. The most prevalent self-management strategies (>30%) were thinking about the benefits of PA, making PA more enjoyable, choosing activities that are convenient, setting aside time to do PA, and setting goals to do PA. Fewer than 10% reported rewarding oneself for PA, writing planned activities in a book or calendar, and keeping charts of PA. Use of self-management strategies was associated with increased self-efficacy (r = .47, p < .001) and higher levels of PA (r = .34 p < .001). A 1-unit difference in self-management strategy scores was associated with a ~fourfold increase in the probability of being active (OR = 3.7, 95% CI = 1.8-7.4). Although strongly associated with PA, a relatively small percentage of adolescents routinely use self-management strategies.
Trost is with the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia. Hutley was with the Rossville High School, Rossville, KS at the time of this research and is now with the Mill Creek Valley School District, Alma, KS.