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Robert H. DuRant, Amy B. Middleman, Annie H. Faulkner, S. Jean Emans and Elizabeth R. Woods

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among anabolic-androgenic steroid use and other drug use, strength training, sports participation, and school performance of high school students. Among males not participating in school sports, 37% of the variation in anabolic steroid use was accounted for by frequency of cocaine use, injected drug use, other drug use, and engaging in strength training. Injection drug use and poly-drug use accounted for 22.1% of the variation in the frequency of anabolic-steroid use among males participating in school sports, 29.1% of the variation among females participating in school sports, and 63.3% of the variation among females not participating in school sports.

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Sandi L. Pruitt and Andrew E. Springer

Background:

Evidence of an association between employment and physical activity (PA) in youth has been mixed, with studies suggesting both positive and negative associations. We examined the association between employment and PA among U.S. high school students as measured by self-reported overall PA, vigorous exercise, and participation in school athletic teams.

Methods:

We employed a secondary analysis using weighted linear regression to a sample of black and white 10th grade (n = 12073) and 12th grade students (n = 5500) drawn from the nationally representative cross-sectional 2004 Monitoring the Future Study.

Results:

Overall, 36.5% of 10th and 74.6% of 12th grade students were employed. In multivariable analyses, 10th graders working >10 hours a week reported less overall PA and exercise and those working >20 hours a week reported less participation in team sports. Among 12th graders, any level of employment was associated with lower rates of team sports; those working >10 hours a week reported less overall PA; and those working >20 hours reported less exercise.

Conclusions:

Employment at and above 10 hours per week is negatively associated with PA. Increasing work intensity may shed light on the decline of PA as adolescents grow older and merits further attention in research.

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Ralph Maddison, Yannan Jiang, Steve Vander Hoorn, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Daniel Exeter and Jennifer Utter

Background:

Research in adults shows poor agreement between self-reported and objectively measured proximity to physical activity resources; however there is little such research in adolescents. This study assessed the level of agreement between self-reported and objective measures of distance to physical activity resources in adolescents; and whether perceived or actual distance was related to actual use and physical activity levels.

Methods:

110 New Zealand high school students (12−18 years) were asked the time (in minutes) it would take them to walk from their home to the nearest physical activity resource, and whether they had used it in the previous month. The distance from participants’ homes to the nearest resource was measured using GIS. Physical activity was assessed with accelerometers.

Results:

Agreement was poor, with weighted Kappa Indices ranging from 0.1 to 0.4. The facilities used most frequently were schools (90%), public parks (76%), and playing fields (74%). Closer location was associated with higher use of some facilities only. Moderate-to-vigorous activity levels were not associated with self-reported or measured distance.

Conclusions:

Agreement between perceived and measured access is poor among adolescents. Further research is needed to understand how individual and social factors interact with environmental factors and whether improving awareness improves use.

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Stephan Swinnen, Joost Vandenberghe and Erik Van Assche

This study sought to determine the relationships between the cognitive styles field dependence-independence and reflection-impulsivity and the acquisition of a gross motor skill in an unstructured learning environment. In reference to the first cognitive style construct, it was hypothesized that field-independent subjects perform better than field-dependent subjects because they provide organization when the material to be learned lacks structure, leading them to rely on their analyzing and restructuring ability. The second construct refers to cognitive inhibition required for response uncertainty tasks as well as motor impulse inhibition. Subjects (57 boys, 65 girls) were 13-year-old junior high school students. Several visual perceptual tests were administered and gymnastic performance scores were measured at pretest, during the learning session, and posttest. The hypothesis that field-independent subjects are more successful in an unstructured learning environment than field-dependent subjects was confirmed for boys only. The correlations between the reflection-impulsivity variables and gymnastic performance were generally low, and no support could be found for the hypothesis that reflective subjects are more successful in learning the skill than impulsive subjects.

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Michael L. Booth, Anthony D. Okely, Tien Chey and Adrian E. Bauman

This study examined the pattern of activity energy expenditure (AEE) among New South Wales (NSW) high school students in relation to age, sex, socioeconomic status (SES), place of residence, cultural background, season, participation in moderate- and vigorous-intensity and in organized and non-organized physical activity.

Methods:

Cross-sectional survey of a randomly-selected sample (N = 2026). Respondents self-reported their physical activity participation during a usual week in summer and winter.

Results:

Boys reported greater AEE than girls and, whereas AEE was greater among grade 10 than grade 8 boys, the reverse was true for girls. Boys reported the same AEE for summer and winter, but girls reported less AEE during winter. Both boys and girls reported spending the same proportion of their AEE in vigorous-intensity (72%) compared with moderate-intensity activity (28%) and in non-organized (60%) compared with organized activity. There was no clear association between urban/rural place of residence and AEE. Although AEE tended to be positively associated with SES among girls, there was no association among boys. Girls from Asian cultural backgrounds reported much lower AEE than girls from other cultural backgrounds.

Conclusion:

Patterns of energy expenditure among adolescent boys and girls should be considered in developing interventions to ensure needs are adequately met.

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Amy Tischler and Nate McCaughtry

The purpose of this study was to examine boys’ perceptions of masculinity hierarchies in adventure physical education in relation to past experiences in sport-based physical education and their evolving views about physical activity in their lives. Theoretical principles of masculinity guided this study. Data were collected with 55 male high school students through 84 formal interviews, 200 e-mail interviews, and 135 ninety-minute class observations over 15 weeks. Data were analyzed using constant comparison with frequent member checks to facilitate trustworthiness. Three main findings emerged. First, boys described masculinity hierarchies in many past sport-based physical education classes as static and well-pronounced, which for many negatively impacted their perceptions of and engagement with physical activity. Second, boys described masculinity hierarchies in adventure physical education at Apex High School as shifting and narrowing, which stood in stark contrast to the inequitable status differentials in many sport-based physical education classes. Third, shifting and narrowing masculinity hierarchies resulted in significant positive outcomes for boys, most notably enhancing their orientations toward physical activity. Findings from this study suggest that physical education settings that produce shifting and narrowing masculinity hierarchies can enhance boys’ perceptions of and engagement with physical activity both in and out of school.

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Javier Molina-García, Ana Queralt, Isabel Castillo and James F. Sallis

Background:

This study examined changes in multiple physical activity domains during the transition out of high school and psychosocial and environmental determinants of these changes.

Methods:

A 1-year prospective study was designed. The baseline sample was composed of 244 last-year high school students (58.6% female) from Valencia, Spain. Follow-up rate was 46%. Physical activity and potential determinants were measured by the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire and other evaluated scales in 2 waves.

Results:

Total physical activity and active commuting (AC) decreased, respectively, by 21% and 36%, only in males. At time 1, access to car/motorbike (inverse), planning/psychosocial barriers (inverse), street connectivity (positive) and parental education (inverse) were significantly associated with AC (P < .05). Prospectively, the increase in distance to school/workplace was associated with AC decrease among males (P < .001). In both genders, there was a decrease in leisure-time physical activity (LTPA; –35% in males, –43% in females). At time 1, self-efficacy and social support were positive correlates of LTPA (P < .05). Social support decreases were associated with reductions in LTPA for males (P < .05).

Conclusions:

Several psychosocial and environmental correlates of physical activity change were identified, and these are promising targets for interventions.

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Herbert W. Marsh, F. Hulya Asci and Ines Marco Tomas

The present investigation demonstrated cross-cultural support for convergent and discriminant validity of the Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ) in a multitrait-multimethod analysis of relations with responses to the Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP). The sample, 1,041 Turkish university students in elective physical education courses from 10 Turkish universities, provided a test of the cross-cultural generalizability of responses to these two widely used English language instruments. In support of construct validity interpretations, matching PSDQ and PSPP factors were highly correlated. However, support for the PSPP was undermined by extremely high correlations among several of its factors, due in part to a substantial method effect associated with its idiosyncratic response scale. Results based on this study with Turkish university students largely replicate and extend the findings of Marsh et al. (1994) with Australian high school students. Based on psychometric, theoretical, cross-cultural, and practical considerations, the results support the use of the PSDQ in a wide variety of research and applied settings.

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Alexander Vigo-Valentín, Kimberly A. Bush and Samuel R. Hodge

Background:

There is limited evidence on physical activity patterns among Hispanic adolescents in Puerto Rico. This restricts opportunities to implement effective interventions and policies to increase physical activity in schools. The purpose of this study was to examine the physical activity behaviors of adolescents attending middle and high schools in Puerto Rico based on a compendium of moderate to vigorous physical activities including walking, jogging or running, bicycling, sports and more. A secondary purpose was to examine group differences as a function of gender and school level.

Method:

A cross-sectional survey research design was used. Students (N = 637) attending public middle and high schools completed a Visual 7-Day Physical Activity Recall survey. Both descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted to describe the sample and to determine group differences.

Results:

Puerto Rican adolescents’ levels of physical activity decreased throughout the week. Only a small proportion of them reached at least 60 minutes everyday of the week. Differences were found between middle and high school students’ daily and weekly participation in physical activities.

Conclusions:

Most adolescents do not engage in sufficient physical activity.

Implications:

Implications of the results are discussed and recommendations are articulated for policy makers, educators, and other professionals.

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Maea Hohepa, Robert Scragg, Grant Schofield, Gregory S. Kolt and David Schaaf

Background:

Youth display suboptimal levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Few studies have examined the existence of the “displacement hypothesis” or the effect of parental strategies on activity behaviors during the after-school period.

Methods:

A total of 3471 students (12–18 years old) completed a self-report survey that assessed after-school physical activity and television (TV) use and perceived parental strategies (ie, encouragement to be active, TV-viewing rules). Participants were grouped into 4 activity groups: high TV/low active, high TV/active, low TV/low active, or low TV/active. Descriptive statistics and nominal logistic-regression analyses were conducted.

Results:

Compared with students who watched less than 1 h of TV, participants who watched ≥4 h of TV were half as likely to be active after school (≥4 h; adjusted odds ratio 0.51, 95% CI .40–.65). Compared with the low TV/active group, the other activity groups were at least 1.28 times more likely to have parents that provided only 1 parental strategy (encouragement for activity or TV rules) and up to 4.7 times more likely to have parents that provided neither strategy.

Discussion:

Sedentary behaviors are associated with displacement of active pursuits. Parental strategies exert a strong influence on after-school behaviors of high school students.