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Han Chen and Jun Dai


Using the social cognitive theory, this study aims to examine how gender moderates the direct and indirect relationships of various sources of social support on Chinese adolescents’ physical activity (PA).


A cross-sectional study was conducted. The final data includes 396 students (55.8% are boys) who were randomly selected from 2 middle schools and 4 high schools in Fuzhou city located in southeast China. Family support, peer support, and self-efficacy (SE) were measured using validated questionnaires. Participants’ PA was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire short form. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data. A bootstrapping method was used to determine and compare the direct and indirect effects of social support on PA across genders.


Peer support had no direct effect on PA; rather, peer support indirectly influenced PA through SE. Gender did not moderate this mediating effect. In addition, family support had neither a direct nor an indirect effect on PA via SE, and gender did not moderate these effects.


Findings suggest that peer support played a more important role than family support on study participants’ PA indirectly through SE. SE also has a similar indirect effect across genders.

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Han Chen, Haichun Sun, Jun Dai and Michael Griffin


The purpose of the study was to identify gender and body weight differences in Chinese adolescents’ perceived expectancy value (EV) motivation in their physical education (PE) class. The study also explored the relationship between EV and adolescents’ health-related fitness performances.


A group of seventh and eighth graders (N = 224) from China were measured on EV toward PE as well as health-related fitness levels. A two-way MANOVA test was used to examine gender and body weight differences in EV motivations. Several two-step hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between EV motivation and various fitness performances while controlling for the effects of gender and body weight.


Boys had higher expectancy beliefs and perceived their PE class as more interesting, useful, and important than girls did. Compared with overweight/obese students, students in the healthy weight group reported higher expectancy beliefs. When the effects of gender and body weight were accounted for, expectancy beliefs were the only reliable predictor influencing adolescents’ cardiorespiratory as well as muscular strength/endurance fitness levels.


Physical educators should use various teaching strategies to enhance students’ expectancy beliefs and task values. This is especially important for female students and overweight/obese students.