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Charlotte Louise Edwardson, Trish Gorely, Natalie Pearson, and Andrew Atkin

Background:

To progress physical activity (PA) social support research using objective measures of PA, attention should be turned to specific segments of the day (eg, after school or weekends) in which young people spend the majority of their time with parents or friends. Furthermore, the majority of previous research has focused on the influence of parents and peers. The current study examined gender and age differences in 5 sources of activity-related social support and their relationship with objectively measured after-school and weekend PA among adolescents.

Methods:

328 adolescents aged 12–16 years (57% boys) wore an accelerometer for 7 days and completed a questionnaire assessing support for PA. After-school and weekend PA were extracted.

Results:

Adolescents perceived more support from their peers compared with other sources and boys perceived more peer support than girls. Younger adolescents perceived greater amounts of family support and explicit modeling from both mother and father; however, logistic support appeared constant throughout adolescence. After controlling for gender and age, peer support was a significant influence on after-school MVPA.

Conclusions:

Findings suggest that there may be benefit in encouraging adolescents to participate in PA in the after-school period with their peers.

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Charlotte Louise Edwardson, Trish Gorely, Hayley Musson, Rebecca Duncombe, and Rachel Sandford

Background:

Previous research has shown a positive relationship between activity-related social support provided by parents and peers and adolescents’ physical activity. However, more information is needed on whether activity-related social support differs by sociodemographic characteristics. The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in activity-related social support in a sample of adolescents, by characteristics such as age, gender, socioeconomic status (SES), ethnicity, and physical activity level and to determine which characteristics are the most important predictors of activity-related social support.

Methods:

Information was provided by 578 boys and 588 girls (11–14 years) on demographic factors, physical activity, and activity-related support. ANOVA, correlations, and multiple regression were performed to address the purposes of the study.

Results:

Boys, White British, younger, more physically active, and high-SES adolescents perceived more support for physical activity. Age predicted all types of support excluding peer support; ethnicity predicted mother logistic support and sibling support; gender predicted peer support, father explicit modeling, and father logistic support; and SES predicted mother and father logistic support.

Conclusions:

Families and peers of adolescents who are female, from Black and minority ethnic groups, older, of low-SES, and less active should be targeted for intervention.