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Robert Weinberg, Deanna Morrison, Megan Loftin, Thelma Horn, Elizabeth Goodwin, Emily Wright, and Carly Block

The purpose of the current investigation was to determine the effectiveness of writing down goals, as well as displaying them, on performance. Sixty-two college student participants were randomly assigned to one of the following conditions: no goals, unwritten goals, written goals, or written and displayed goals. Participants performed a free-throw-shooting task, dribbling around cones, and layups for 2 min (Mikan drill) in a pretest–posttest design with posttesting occurring 3–4 wk after the initial testing. A 4 × 2 (goal conditions by trials) repeated-measures MANOVA with the 3 performance measures as dependent variables was conducted. There were no significant group main effects or interactions. Results also revealed no differences among the groups in commitment, motivation, and perceived difficulty of their goals. However, significant correlations indicated that the more participants looked at their goal, the more likely they were to practice their skills (although this did not lead to enhanced performance). These results call into question the efficacy of writing down goals, although future studies need to verify this with different tasks and different levels of goal difficulty.

Open access

Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Kara D. Denstel, Kim Beals, Jordan Carlson, Scott E. Crouter, Thomas L. McKenzie, Russell R. Pate, Susan B. Sisson, Amanda E. Staiano, Heidi Stanish, Dianne S. Ward, Melicia Whitt-Glover, and Carly Wright

Open access

Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Kara D. Denstel, Kim Beals, Christopher Bolling, Carly Wright, Scott E. Crouter, Thomas L. McKenzie, Russell R. Pate, Brian E. Saelens, Amanda E. Staiano, Heidi I. Stanish, and Susan B. Sisson


The 2016 United States (U.S.) Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth provides a comprehensive evaluation of physical activity levels and factors influencing physical activity among children and youth.


The report card includes 10 indicators: Overall Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, Active Transportation, Organized Sport Participation, Active Play, Health-related Fitness, Family and Peers, School, Community and the Built Environment, and Government Strategies and Investments. Nationally representative data were used to evaluate the indicators using a standard grading rubric.


Sufficient data were available to assign grades to 7 of the indicators, and these ranged from B- for Community and the Built Environment to F for Active Transportation. Overall Physical Activity received a grade of D- due to the low prevalence of meeting physical activity guidelines. A grade of D was assigned to Health-related Fitness, reflecting the low prevalence of meeting cardiorespiratory fitness standards. Disparities across age, gender, racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups were observed for several indicators.


Continued poor grades suggest that additional work is required to provide opportunities for U.S. children to be physically active. The observed disparities indicate that special attention should be given to girls, minorities, and those from lower socioeconomic groups when implementing intervention strategies.