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Gershon Tenenbaum, Saadia Pinchas, Gabi Elbaz, Michael Bar-Eli and Robert Weinberg

The purpose of the present investigation was to extend the literature on the relationship between goal specificity, goal proximity, and performance by using high school students and attempting to control for the effects of social comparison. Subjects (N=214) in Experiment 1 were randomly assigned to one of five goal-setting conditions: (a) short-term goals, (b) long-term goals, (c) short- plus long-term goals,(d) do-your-best goals, and (e) no goals. After a 3-week baseline period, subjects were tested once a week on the 3-minute sit-up over the course of the 10-week experimental period. Results indicated that the short- plus long-term group exhibited the greatest increase in performance although the short-term and long-term groups also displayed significant improvements. In Experiment 2, a short- plus long-term group was compared against a do-your-best group. Results again revealed a significant improvement in performance for the combination-goal group whereas the do-your-best group did not display any improvement.

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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.

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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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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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Gabriele Wulf, Sebastian Wächter and Stefan Wortmann

Recently, researchers in the motor learning area have shown that instructions to direct the learner’s attention to their body movements (i.e., induce an internal focus) – such as those typically used in applied settings – are less effective than instructions directing attention to the movement effects (i.e., inducing an external focus). Under the assumption that females tend to be more concerned about performing a movement correctly than males, who might be more inclined to focus on the outcome of their actions, the purpose of the present study was to examine whether females would benefit more from external-focus instructions than males. Female and male high-school students practiced a soccer instep kick with instructions that either induced an internal or external focus of attention. Subsequent retention (stationary ball) and transfer (moving ball) tests without instructions were performed to assess learning. The female group that was given internal-focus instructions during practice showed a greater performance decrement from retention to transfer than all other groups. This provides support for the view that the type of attentional focus induced by instructions might be particularly relevant for females, and that females might show greater learning advantages when provided with external-focus instructions.

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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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Ping Xiang, Bülent Ağbuğa, Jiling Liu and Ron E. McBride

Purpose:

Using self-determination theory, this study examined unique contributions of relatedness need satisfaction (to both teachers and peers) to intrinsic motivation and engagement (behavioral, cognitive, and emotional) over and above those of autonomy need satisfaction and competence need satisfaction among Turkish students in secondary school physical education.

Method:

Participants were 331 (162 boys, 169 girls) middle and high school students enrolled in physical education classes at four public schools in the southwest Turkey. Data were collected by previously validated questionnaires.

Results:

No gender differences occurred in the mean levels of relatedness to teachers need satisfaction and relatedness to peers need satisfaction. These two types of relatedness need satisfaction made significant unique contributions to student engagement for both boys and girls. The differential roles of relatedness to peers need satisfaction in predicting boys’ and girls’ engagement were observed.

Discussion/Conclusion:

Discussion/Conclusion: The study demonstrated that two types of relatedness need satisfaction uniquely predicted students’ engagement in a secondary school physical education setting. This finding supports self-determination theory that relatedness need satisfaction is an important motivator for students in schools.

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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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Ruth P. Saunders, Rod K. Dishman, Marsha Dowda and Russell R. Pate

Background: Interventions promoting physical activity (PA) in youth have had limited success, in part because studies with methodological challenges have yielded an incomplete understanding of personal, social, and environmental influences on PA. This study described changes in these factors for subgroups of youth with initially high PA that decreased (Active-Decline) compared with children with initially low PA that decreased (Inactive-Decline) from fifth to ninth grades. Methods: Observational, prospective cohort design. Participants (n = 625) were fifth-grade children recruited in 2 school districts and followed from elementary to high school. Students and their parents responded to questionnaires to assess personal, social, and perceived physical environmental factors in the fifth (mean age = 10.5 [.5] y) and ninth (mean age = 14.7 [.6] y) grades. Analyses included a mixed-model 2-way repeated analysis of variances. Results: Children in the Active-Decline compared with those in the Inactive-Decline group showed a more favorable profile in 6 of 8 personal variables (perceived barriers, self-efficacy, self-schema, enjoyment, competence, and fitness motives) and 4 of 6 social variables (friend support, parent encouragement, parent support, and parent-reported support). Conclusions: The results suggest efforts to promote PA should target selected personal, social, and perceived environmental factors beginning before age 10 and continuing through adolescence.