Dana M. Litt, Ronald J. Iannotti and Jing Wang
Motivating adolescents to maintain levels of physical activity (PA) is important because regular PA in adolescence contributes to physical, psychological, and social well-being and PA during adolescence has been associated with activity levels in adulthood.
The overall aim of this study is to validate a measure of external reward, health values, and personal interest motivations for adolescent PA developed by Wold and Kannas and to examine the relationship between these motivations and level of PA.
A nationally representative sample of 9011 adolescents completed the Health Behavior in School-aged Children survey instrument. Ten items were used to measure PA motivations. Multiple group confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were applied to test the 3-factor structure of the motivation scale and to examine the relationship between the 3 motivations and PA.
The Wold and Kannas’s motivation measure assessed external, social, and health motivations which predicted PA in adolescents.
The Wold and Kannas’s motivation measure is suitable for assessing motivations for PA in US adolescents and may contribute to both theoretical and intervention studies that address this public health need.
Ronald J. Iannotti, Rusan Chen, Hania Kololo, Gintare Petronyte, Ellen Haug and Chris Roberts
Although there are substantial international differences in adolescent physical activity (PA), cross-country motivational differences have received limited attention, perhaps due to the lack of measures applicable internationally.
Identical self-report measures assessing PA and motivations for PA were used to survey students ages 11, 13, and 15 from 7 countries participating in the 2005−2006 Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study representing 3 regions: Eastern Europe, Western Europe and North America. Multigroup comparisons with Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Modeling examined the stability of factors across regions and regional differences in relations between PA and motives for PA.
Three PA motivation factors were identified as suitable for assessing international populations. There were significant regional, gender, and age differences in relations between PA and each of the 3 PA motives. Social and achievement motives were positively related to PA. However, the association of PA with health motivations varied significantly by region and gender. The patterns suggest the importance of social motives for PA and the possibility that health may not be a reliable motivator for adolescent PA.
Programs to increase PA in adolescence need to determine which motives are effective for the particular population being targeted.
Ronald J. Iannotti, James F. Sallis, Rusan Chen, Shelia L. Broyles, John P. Elder and Philip R. Nader
Longitudinal patterns in the development of physical activity (PA) and potential causal relationships between parent and child PA are examined.
Autoregressive models were used to examine bidirectional prospective paths between parent and child PA in a longitudinal sample of 351 Anglo and Mexican American families. PA was assessed independently in children and parents over a 13-y period.
There was little evidence for a causal path from mother PA to child PA.
Modeling does not appear to be the primary mechanism by which parents influence children’s PA behavior. Studies examining relations between parent and child behaviors should not rely on a single respondent for assessing both parent and child PA or on cross-sectional correlational data to make unidirectional causal inferences about determinants of child PA.