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Symeon P. Vlachopoulos, Ermioni S. Katartzi and Maria G. Kontou

The present study reported on the modification of the Basic Psychological Needs in Exercise Scale (Vlachopoulos & Michailidou, 2006) to assess students’ psychological need fulfillment in elementary school, middle school, and high school compulsory physical education classes. Data were collected from 817 5th and 6th grade students, 862 middle school students and 844 high school students, boys and girls. The findings supported an a priori correlated 3-factor structure of the Basic Psychological Needs in Physical Education scale (BPN-PE) with strong internal reliability for all three school grade levels. Support was also obtained for the nomological validity of the scale responses. Further, measurement invariance emerged for BPN-PE scores across boys and girls and across students who participated or not in out-of-school sports within each school grade level as well as across all three school grade levels.

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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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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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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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Pedro Silva, Ryan Lott, Jorge Mota and Greg Welk

Social support (SS) from parents and peers are key reinforcing factors in the Youth Physical Activity Promotion (YPAP) model. This study aims to identify the relative contribution of parental and peer SS on youth participation in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Participants included 203 high school students (n = 125 girls; mean age 14.99 ± 1.55 years). MVPA was assessed by accelerometry. SS influences were evaluated using a well-established scale. Structural equation modeling measured (AMOS, Version 19) the relative fit of the YPAP models using both parental and peer SS. Parental SS had significant associations with both predisposing factors, enjoyment (β = .62, p < .01), and self-efficacy (β= .32, p < .01), as well a direct effect on MVPA (β = .30, p < .01). Peer SS had direct effect on MVPA (β = .33, p < .05), also significantly influenced levels of enjoyment (β = .47, p < .01) and self-efficacy (β = .67, p < .01). In both models self-efficacy mediated the influence on MVPA. The direct effects for parents and peers were similar. This demonstrates that both parental and peer social support exert a strong influence on adolescent MVPA.

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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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Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville, Christophe Gernigon, Marie-Laure Huet, Marielle Cadopi and Fayda Winnykamen

Based on Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development and its concept of zone of proximal development, this study examined how the skill level of a peer tutor affects the achievement motivation of novice learners and their performance in a swimming task. Gender differences were also explored. High school students (N = 48) were assigned in a 2 × 3 (Gender × Tutor skill level: novice vs. intermediate vs. skilled) factorial design. Participants were invited to observe a same-sex peer tutor, complete a self-efficacy questionnaire, train with their tutor for 8 minutes, and complete a goal involvement questionnaire. Results demonstrated that skilled tutors yielded the best swimming skills for boys, whereas skilled and intermediate tutors yielded better skills than did novice tutors for girls. The skilled tutor group led to higher self-efficacy for improvement and gave more demonstrations and verbal information than did the novice group. Male tutees adopted higher ego involvement goals and trained more physically, whereas female tutees adopted higher learning goals and received more demonstrations and verbal instructions. Results are discussed in relation to educational studies conducted in a Vygotskian perspective.

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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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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.