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Ana C. Seabra, José Maia, André F. Seabra, Greg Welk, Robert Brustad and António M. Fonseca


The Youth Physical Activity Promotion (YPAP) model provides an integrated approach to understanding the predisposing, enabling, and reinforcing factors influencing physical activity (PA) behavior. The purpose of this study was to evaluate an adapted version of the YPAP model for explaining PA among Portuguese schoolchildren.


A random cross-sectional sample of 683 children (8–10 years of age) attending elementary public schools in the north of Portugal completed a detailed survey assessing attraction to PA, perceived physical competence, parental influences and leisure time PA. Structural equation modeling techniques were conducted (EQS6.1).


Attraction to PA was directly associated with children’s PA participation (β = 0.271, P < .05). Perceived physical competence imposed an indirect effect on children’s PA through children’s attraction to PA (β = 0.253, P < .05). Parental influence had an indirect effect on children’s PA through perceived physical competence and attraction to PA (β = 0.318 and 0.662, respectively, P < .05). Perceived physical competence and parental influence were not directly associated with children’s PA (β = 0.069 and 0.180, respectively, P > .05).


The adapted version of YPAP model was useful in explaining PA participation in elementary Portuguese schoolchildren. Intervention programs intended to enhance attraction to PA, perceived physical competence and favorable parental influence should be developed to promote children’s PA participation.

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André F. Seabra, Denisa M. Mendonça, Martine A. Thomis, Robert M. Malina and José A. Maia


The present study considered age- and sex-associated variation in sports participation (SP) in Portuguese youth.


A national survey of 12,568 students, ages 10 to 18 y, was conducted. Two items of the Baecke et al. (1982) questionnaire that deal with SP were considered. Logistic regression and factorial ANOVA were used.


The prevalence of SP is greater in males than females. Mean sport scores increased in both sexes from ages 10 to 18 y. Soccer was the most practiced sport among males, while swimming and soccer were the most practiced sports among females. Males participated in SP >5 hours per week compared to 1 to 2 hours per week in females. High-intensity sports were more prevalent among males, while sports of mid-level intensity were more prevalent among females. The majority of youth participate in sport more than 9 months of the year.


SP is an important component of physical activity among Portuguese youth and has a relatively stable prevalence between ages 10 to 18 y.