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Jessica L. Chandler, Keith Brazendale, Clemens Drenowatz, Justin B. Moore, Xuemei Sui, Robert G. Weaver and Michael W. Beets

Across the United States, 95% of school-aged youth (aged 5–17 y) are enrolled in public/private schools 1 and nearly 60% of children attend some variation of childcare outside of school, with over 10 million children attending after-school programs (ASPs) and more than 14 million children

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Shara Crookston

peers and program staff may influence girls’ participation. Forneris, Bean, Sowden, and Fortier ( 2013 ) posit that, for adolescent and preadolescent girls, teacher and parental support and interest in after-school physical activity programs can facilitate girls’ interest. Dinkel et al. ( 2017 ) found

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Christina M. Thornton, Kelli L. Cain, Terry L. Conway, Jacqueline Kerr, Brian E. Saelens, Lawrence D. Frank, Karen Glanz and James F. Sallis

Background:

The after-school period provides an opportune context for adolescent physical activity. This study examined how characteristics of after-school recreation environments related to adolescent physical activity.

Methods:

Participants were 889 adolescents aged 12 to 17 (mean = 14.1, SD = 1.4) from 2 US regions. Adolescents reported on whether their school offered after-school supervised physical activity, access to play areas/fields, and presence of sports facilities. Outcomes were accelerometer-measured after-school physical activity, reported physical activity on school grounds during nonschool hours, attainment of 60 minutes of daily physical activity excluding school physical education, and BMI-for-age z-score. Mixed regression models adjusted for study design, region, sex, age, ethnicity, vehicles/licensed drivers in household, and distance to school.

Results:

School environment variables were all significantly associated with self-reported physical activity on school grounds during non-school hours (P < .001) and attainment of 60 minutes of daily physical activity (P < .05). Adolescents’ accelerometer-measured after-school physical activity was most strongly associated with access to supervised physical activity (P = .008).

Conclusions:

Policies and programs that provide supervised after-school physical activity and access to play areas, fields, and sports facilities may help adolescents achieve daily physical activity recommendations.

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Eric E. Wickel, Johann Issartel and Sarahjane Belton

Background:

Relatively little is known regarding after-school behavior. This study examined after-school active and sedentary behaviors among youth participating in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development.

Methods:

An interview guided time-use approach was used to obtain detailed longitudinal information about after-school (3−6 PM) behavior of a mixed gender cohort (n = 886) at ages 9 and 11 yrs. Responses obtained in 15-min intervals were coded into 29 exclusive behaviors and separated into 3 main categories [moderate-and vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA), light-intensity physical activity, and sedentary]. Sedentary category was further divided into screen and nonscreen categories. A mixed ANOVA design was used to examine gender and age-related differences in MVPA, light-intensity physical activity, sedentary, screen, and nonscreen.

Results:

MVPA was higher among boys compared with girls (P < .001) and decreased from 9 to 11 yrs (P < .001). Overall, total sedentary time was comparable between boys and girls despite a difference in reported screen time (boys > girls; P < .001) and nonscreen time (boys < girls; P < .001). Total sedentary time increased from 9 to 11 yrs (P < .001).

Conclusion:

Engagement in after-school behavior appears to change during preadolescence. Additional research is needed to understand factors associated with the selection of active and sedentary behavior over time.

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Kylie Hesketh, Melissa Graham and Elizabeth Waters

This study investigated children’s after-school activity and associations with body mass index (BMI) and family circumstance. One thousand two hundred thirty-four parents and 854 children (age 8–13 years) completed activity diaries for the 2 hours after school. Parents reported children as more active than children reported themselves. Boys were reported to be more active than girls. Activity levels were generally not associated with BMI or family circumstance with the exception of cultural background. Parent-reported mean child METs were higher for mothers born in Australia (3.3 vs. 3.0; p = .02). Child-reported mean METs were higher for fathers born in Australia (2.9 vs. 2.6; p = .04) and where English was their main language (2.9 vs. 2.3, p = .003).

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Erica Y. Lau, Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, Marsha Dowda, Melinda Forthofer, Ruth P. Saunders and Russell R. Pate

This study examined associations of various elements of the home environment with after-school physical activity and sedentary time in 671 6th-grade children (Mage = 11.49 ± 0.5 years). Children’s after-school total physical activity, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and sedentary time were measured by accelerometry. Parents completed surveys assessing elements of the home social and physical environment. Mixed-model regression analyses were used to examine the associations between each element of the home environment and children’s after-school physical activity and sedentary time. Availability of home physical activity resources was associated positively with after-school total physical activity and negatively with after-school sedentary time in boys. Parental support was associated positively with after-school total physical activity and MVPA and negatively with after-school sedentary time in girls. The home physical environment was associated with boys’ after-school physical activity and sedentary time, whereas the home social environment was associated with girls’ after-school physical activity and sedentary time.

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Andrew J. Atkin, Trish Gorely, Stuart J.H. Biddle, Simon J. Marshall and Noel Cameron

The present study examined physical activity and sedentary behavior patterns of adolescents between 15.30h and 18.30h. The sample for this study is 1,484 (boys: n = 561; girls: n = 923). Boys and girls reported 21 and 19 min of physical activity and 24 and 26 min of homework respectively during this period. Technology-based sedentary behavior (TV viewing, computer and video game use) was significantly higher in boys than girls (boys = 50 mins; girls = 35 mins; p < .05). The most prevalent behaviors after school are technology-based sedentary behavior, homework and physical activity. During these hours, engagement in physical activity does not appear to displace time spent doing homework.

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Rebecca Megan Stanley, Kobie Boshoff and James Dollman

Background:

The after-school period is potentially a “critical window” for promoting physical activity in children. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore children’s perceptions of the factors influencing their engagement in physical activity during the after-school period as the first phase in the development of a questionnaire.

Methods:

Fifty-four South Australian children age 10−13 years participated in same gender focus groups. Transcripts, field notes, and activity documents were analyzed using content analysis. Through an inductive thematic approach, data were coded and categorized into perceived barriers and facilitators according to a social ecological model.

Results:

Children identified a number of factors, including safety in the neighborhood and home settings, distance to and from places, weather, availability of time, perceived competence, enjoyment of physical activity, peer influence, and parent influence. New insights into bullying and teasing by peers and fear of dangerous animals and objects were revealed by the children.

Conclusions:

In this study, hearing children’s voices allowed the emergence of factors which may not be exposed using existing surveys. These findings are grounded in children’s perceptions and therefore serve as a valuable contribution to the existing literature, potentially leading to improved intervention and questionnaire design.

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Iva Obrusnikova and Dannielle L. Miccinello

The study assessed parental perceptions of the benefits of physical activity (PA) and the factors that influence participation of children with autism spectrum disorders in PA after school. Data were collected from 103 parents using an online open-ended questionnaire and focus-group interviews. Data were analyzed using a socioecological model. Parents provided 225 responses that were coded as advantages, 106 as disadvantages, 225 as facilitators, and 250 as barriers of PA. The most frequently reported advantages were physical, followed by psychosocial, and cognitive. Disadvantages were psychosocial and physical. The most frequently reported barriers were intrapersonal, followed by interpersonal, physical, community, and institutional. Facilitators were intrapersonal, followed by physical, interpersonal, community, and institutional. Public policy factors were elicited in the interviews.

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Carlos M. Cervantes and David L. Porretta

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of an after school physical activity intervention on adolescents with visual impairments within the context of Social Cognitive Theory. Four adolescents with visual impairments (1 female, 3 males) between 14 and 19 years of age from a residential school for the blind served as participants. We used a range-bound changing criterion single-subject design. Physical activity was measured using ActiGraph accelerometers. Questionnaires were used to obtain information on selected social cognitive theory constructs. Results show that the intervention exerted functional control over the target behaviors (e.g., leisure-time physical activity) during intervention phases. Similarly, changes in scores for selected social cognitive constructs, in particular for outcome expectancy value, suggest a positive relationship between those constructs and physical activity behavior. No maintenance effects were observed.