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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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Ian M. Taylor, Christopher M. Spray and Natalie Pearson

The purpose of the study was to explore change in children’s physical self-concept and self-reported physical activity over a school transition period, as well as motivational and interpersonal influences on these two outcomes. Data were collected from 545 children (mean age = 10.82, SD = 0.39, 51% female) at three time points before and after the United Kingdom secondary school transition. Multilevel modeling revealed that physical self-concept and physical activity showed different patterns of decline over the course of the study. Changes in the extent to which physical education teachers were perceived to provide psychological need support, peer focus on self-referenced learning and mastery, and changes in autonomous motives toward physical education classes were positively associated with these outcome variables. The present study provides novel insight into important motivational and interpersonal factors that may need to be targeted to prevent negative developmental patterns over a potentially challenging period for children.