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Paul A. Estabrooks and Albert V. Carron

The study examined the relative influence of 2 forms of task cohesion on older adult exercisers’ (N = 82) self-efficacy to schedule exercise into their weekly routine. Participants had been involved with the exercise program for at least 4 months before the study began. A sequencing protocol was used to allow for task cohesion’s influence on scheduling self-efficacy. Task cohesion, as measured by the Group Environment Questionnaire, was assessed during the 1st week of exercise classes after a holiday. Scheduling self-efficacy was assessed at midprogram. Attractions to the group-task and group-integration-task cohesion were sequentially entered into a hierarchical regression analysis while recent attendance was controlled for. Results showed individual attractions to the group task accounted for most of the variance in scheduling self-efficacy. R 2 = .10, F(2,80) = 4.22,p = .02; the addition of group-integration task also significantly (p < .05) added variance. R 2 = .13. F(3, 79) = 3.79, p = .01.

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Erin M. Smith, Grace Wilburn, and Paul A. Estabrooks


Since the adoption of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, many researchers have examined changes in the school nutrition environment; however, far less research has focused on the evaluation of physical activity (PA) policies within public schools.


School district wellness policies (n = 144) of Virginia and Maryland were coded using a previously validated audit tool with a scale of 0 (weakest, least comprehensive) to 1 (strongest, most comprehensive).


Mean policy strength was weak (.20 ± .15), and, on average, policies were moderately comprehensive (.40 ± .22). The strongest (.73 ± .44) and most comprehensive (.79 ± .40) policy subgroup addressed daily recess in elementary schools. Virginia had significantly higher scores in 9 policy groups, while Maryland had higher significant policy scores in the 2 following groups: (1) the strength and comprehensiveness of a written physical education (PE) curriculum for each grade level (Ps < .05) and (2) the strength and comprehensiveness of addressing the use of PE waivers (Ps < .05).


PA wellness policies in Maryland and Virginia are extremely weak and only moderately comprehensive; it is unlikely that these policies will significantly influence school-based PA.

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David A. Dzewaltowski, Konstantinos Karteroliotis, Greg Welk, Judy A. Johnston, Dan Nyaronga, and Paul A. Estabrooks

This study developed youth self-efficacy (SEPA) and proxy efficacy (PEPA) measures for physical activity (PA). Proxy efficacy was defined as a youth’s confidence in his or her skills and abilities to get others to act in one’s interests to create supportive environments for PA. Each spring of their sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade years, middle school students completed SEPA and PEPA questions and then, for 3 days, recalled their previous day’s after-school PA. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses revealed a four-factor structure (SEPA for 1–3 days, SEPA for 5–7 days, PEPA-Parents, PEPA-School). Across study years, SEPA 1–3 days and 5–7 days increased and PEPA-Parents and PEPA-School decreased. Initial levels of PEPA-Parents and SEPA scales were associated with initial levels of PA. From sixth through seventh grade, changes in SEPA scales were associated with changes in PA. Studies should test whether interventions targeting self-efficacy and proxy efficacy influence PA.

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Paul A. Estabrooks, Elizabeth H. Fox, Shawna E. Doerksen, Michael H. Bradshaw, and Abby C. King

The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of an on-site physical activity (PA) program offered with congregate meals. Study 1 surveyed meal-site users on their likelihood to participate. Study 2 used meal-site-manager interviews and site visits to determine organizational feasibility. Study 3, a controlled pilot study, randomized meal sites to a 12-week group-based social-cognitive (GBSC) intervention or a standard-care control. Studies 1 and 2 indicated that most meal-site users would participate in an on-site PA program, and meal sites had well-suited physical resources and strong organizational support for this type of program. In Study 3, GBSC participants increased their weekly PA over those in the control condition (p < .05, ES = .79). Results indicated that changes in task cohesion might have mediated intervention effectiveness. These studies demonstrate that a PA program offered in this venue is feasible, is effective in promoting PA, and could have a strong public health impact.

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Natalie Kružliaková, Paul A. Estabrooks, Wen You, Valisa Hedrick, Kathleen Porter, Michaela Kiernan, and Jamie Zoellner

Background: A pragmatic, self-reported physical activity measure is needed for individuals of varying health literacy status. Methods: This study is a secondary analysis of a 6-month behavioral intervention for rural Appalachian adults developed using health literacy strategies. We examined the relationship and responsiveness of the Stanford Leisure-Time Activity Categorical Item (L-Cat) and adapted Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire (GLTEQ) and determined if baseline health literacy status moderates intervention effects. Results: Of 301 enrolled participants, 289 completed the L-Cat at baseline and 212 at 6 months. Approximately 33% were low health literate and 43% reported annual income of ≤$14,999. There was high agreement (84.1%) between the L-Cat and adapted GLTEQ for classifying individuals as meeting physical activity recommendations with little differences by health literacy level (low literacy 80.4% and high literacy 85.9%). The primary source of incongruent classification was the adapted GLTEQ classified almost 20% of individuals as meeting recommendations, whereas the L-Cat classified them as not meeting recommendations. There were differences in responsiveness between measures, but baseline health literacy status did not moderate change in any L-Cat or adapted GLTEQ measures. Conclusion: Implications and recommendations for using the L-Cat 2.3 and GLTEQ among individuals of varying health literacy status are discussed.

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Fabio A. Almeida, Renae L. Smith-Ray, Rain Van Den Berg, Patti Schriener, Mike Gonzales, Pierre Onda, and Paul A. Estabrooks

Within the busy clinic visit and multiple preventive guidelines to follow, the rate of physician referral for physical activity (PA) is disappointing. This study used an interrupted time-series design to determine the effect of a simple stimulus control strategy to increase physician referrals for PA when compared to standard care before and after exposure to the stimulus control intervention. The number of referrals (N = 218 total) per week was significantly higher during weeks when the stimulus control intervention was used (p < .01). Approximately 77% of participants referred during standard care weeks initiated a PA program while 67% of those referred during stimulus control weeks initiated PA. These rate differences were significant (p < .05). Nonetheless, the number of individuals who initiated PA was greater during stimulus control weeks than during usual care weeks (p < .05; 9.8 vs. 5.6), due to the larger total volume of referrals. We concluded that stimulus control interventions targeting physician referrals are a practical method for enhancing participation in PA programs.

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Paul A. Estabrooks, Krista J. Munroe, Elizabeth H. Fox, Nancy C. Gyurcsik, Jennie L. Hill, Robert Lyon, Sara Rosenkranz, and Vanessa R. Shannon

The purpose of this study was to determine whether a theory-based framework could be used to deductively identify and understand the characteristics of motivational leaders of physical activity groups for older adults. Participants were 23 older adults (mean age = 78.5 ± 8.0 years, 65% women). An interview-guide approach was employed to elicit older adults’ thoughts on important characteristics of physical activity group leaders. The data suggested that effective leaders are those whom the participants feel are properly qualified, are able to develop a personal bond with participants, and can use their knowledge and the group to demonstrate collective accomplishments. It was concluded that the findings could be used to extend the leadership activities beyond the traditional technical performance and individual feedback to include activities of social integration. Furthermore, the conceptual framework identified can serve as a valuable tool in guiding future researchers in their examination of leadership in physical activity groups for older adults.