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Joanne Butt, Robert S. Weinberg, Jeff D. Breckon and Randal P. Claytor

Background:

Physical activity (PA) declines as adolescents get older, and the motivational determinants of PA warrant further investigation. The purposes of this study were to investigate the amount of physical and sedentary activity that adolescents participated in across age, gender, and race, and to investigate adolescents’ attraction to PA and their perceived barriers and benefits across age, gender, and race.

Methods:

High school students (N = 1163) aged between 13 and 16 years completed questionnaires on minutes and intensity of physical and sedentary activity, interests in physical activity, and perceived benefits and barriers to participating in PA.

Results:

A series of multivariate analyses of variance were conducted and followed up with discriminant function analysis. PA participation decreased in older females. In addition, fun of physical exertion was a primary attraction to PA for males more than females. Body image as an expected outcome of participating in PA contributed most to gender differences.

Conclusion:

There is a need to determine why PA drops-off as females get older. Findings underscore the importance of structuring activities differently to sustain interest in male and female adolescents, and highlights motives of having a healthy body image, and making PA fun to enhance participation.

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Jodee A. Schaben, Gregory J. Welk, Roxane Joens-Matre and Larry Hensley

Understanding physical activity (PA) correlates in youth is challenging due to the inherent changes in activity patterns, activity preferences, and social norms that occur during the normal developmental transition from childhood into adolescence. This study examines possible age-related differences in physical activity correlates using the Children’s Physical Activity Correlates Scale (CPAC). The Children’s Physical Activity Questionnaire (PAQ) was used to measure typical levels of PA. Results indicate high school youth had lower levels of PA and lower levels on the psychosocial correlates than middle school youth. Parental influence accounted for ~ 15% of the variance in PA while the predisposing factors (perceived competence, attraction to PA) accounted for 20% and 17% of the variance for middle and high school students, respectively. CPAC has similar predictive validity across the age range. The CPAC scale offers potential to help understand factors that influence physical activity behavior during the transition from childhood into adolescence.

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Kenneth R. Fox, Charles B. Corbin and William H. Couldry

The Psychological Model for Physical Activity Participation and the Physical Estimation and Attraction Scales (PEAS) were developed by Sonstroem using adolescent male subjects. This study investigated the adequacy of the model and instrument for explaining the involvement of college-age females in physical activity. Results indicated that although the model worked similarly for both sexes, there were important differences. Attraction to physical activity, as measured by the Attraction scale, does not contribute to the model for the females in this study, but it does for males. Physical estimation emerged as a key factor, particularly for females, in its relationship with self-esteem, fitness, and physical activity levels. The Estimation Scale appears to be a reliable and powerful instrument for assessing this construct. Future application and development of the model and scales is discussed.

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Windee M. Weiss and Maureen R. Weiss

The purpose of this study was to examine correlates of attraction- and entrapment-based commitment among young competitive female gymnasts. Participants were 124 gymnasts (Levels 9, 10, and Elite) ranging in age from 10 to 18 years. Based on theory and research (Raedeke, 1997; Schmidt & Stein, 1991), commitment profiles were determined based on benefits, costs, enjoyment, personal investments, and attractive alternatives. Three profiles emerged when using cluster analysis. Attracted gymnasts were higher in enjoyment and benefits but lower in costs and attractive alternatives. Entrapped gymnasts were lower in enjoyment and benefits but higher in costs and attractive alternatives. Vulnerable gymnasts were moderately lower in enjoyment and benefits, average in costs, and moderately higher in attractive alternatives. These groups were significantly different on social support, social constraints, motivational orientation, and training behaviors. The three profiles were similar but not identical to Schmidt and Stein’s predicted types of commitment, with each type being further differentiated by social, motivational, and behavioral variables.

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Karen J. Tropp and Daniel M. Landers

This study quantified the interaction channels used by intercollegiate field hockey teams and compared these to Bavelas' centrality index and the emergence of leadership/interpersonal attraction. Interaction frequencies, defined as passes to teammates, were determined for each playing position for three teams (N = 37) using 4-3-2-1-1, 5-3-2-1, and 4-2-3-1-1 structural systems. Members of four teams for each system (N = 177) then rated each teammate on leadership and attraction. Analyses of variance showed leadership and attraction differences among low, moderate, and high interactors (p < .05), but these differences disappeared when goalies were eliminated from the analysis. Thus, high-interaction frequencies were not indicative of high leadership and attraction ratings. Only “leadership,” “years on the varsity,” and “attraction” were found to discriminate between captain and noncaptains. The results suggest that for highly dynamic tasks functional centrality and task independency are perhaps more important factors than spatial centrality and high interaction.

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Michael P. Ernst and Robert P. Pangrazi

The proliferation of research on physical activity paints a clear picture regarding the health benefits of increasing levels of physical activity. In the present study, the efficacy of a school-based physical activity intervention (Promoting Lifetime Activity for Youth) was examined. Twenty-eight 4th-, 5th-, and 6th-grade elementary school teachers and their students participated in this study. Treatment group classes received the P.L.A.Y. intervention. Control group classes received a placebo. Participants completed 2 questionnaires 3 times during the study. Repeated measures ANOVA was used for all analyses. Results indicate that the treatment group significantly increased physical activity levels. Control group classes did not significantly increase activity levels or attraction to activity.

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Robert J. Brustad

Identifying social and psychological influences affecting children’s attitudes about physical activity is an important step in understanding individual differences in children’s activity involvement. This study examined the influence of parental socialization and children’s psychological characteristics upon attraction to physical activity. Fourth-grade children (N=81) completed questionnaires assessing perceived physical competence and attraction to physical activity. Parents also completed questionnaires assessing their physical activity orientations and level of encouragement of their child’s physical activity. A proposed model linking four sets of social and psychological variables was tested through path analysis. The results generally supported the hypothesized model and suggested that parental physical activity orientations, parental encouragement levels, children’s gender, and children’s perceived physical competence are important influences upon children’s attraction to physical activity.

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Margaret J. Safrit, Terry M. Wood and Rod K. Dishman

Sonstroem's psychological model for physical activity offers a testable theory for understanding certain aspects of involvement and outcomes among adolescent boys. The usefulness of the model for other populations cannot be clarified, however, until the psychometric properties of its technology, the Physical Estimation and Attraction Scales (PEAS), are known for the groups studied. As a step in this direction, the factorial validity of PEAS responses among college males (N = 488) and females (N = 347) was examined. An independent group of college females (N =413) was also sampled to examine the general ability of the initial findings. These results revealed a robust factor of items that apparently tap perceptions of general physical competence and a perceived strength factor. These emerged across samples and analyses and were not gender-specific. Investigators using the PEAS with adult populations should consider its unique factor structure in the process of testing Sonstroem's physical activity model. Psychometric research regarding revision of the PEAS for adult populations is recommended with the aim of reducing instrument length while maintaining construct validity and measurement precision.

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Kalliopi Sotiriadou, David Shilbury and Shayne Quick

The purpose of this study was to explore and map the sport development processes in Australia. A grounded theory approach identified sport development processes by examining 74 annual reports from 35 national sporting organizations (NSOs) over a period of 4 years, before and after the Sydney Olympic Games. The 3 frameworks presented in this article representing the attraction, retention/transition, and nurturing process illustrate the generic processes and strategies described by NSOs. The results show that each sport development process requires human and financial input from various stakeholders. These stakeholders initiate or implement sport development strategies for each process and each process has different sport development outputs. These results contribute to the extant literature of sport development by demonstrating that sport development is more complex and encompassing than previously described. It is proposed that the generic frameworks derived from this study be subject to more specific testing using other sport systems, as context and case studies could lead to tailoring the frameworks to represent specific sport development processes and systems.

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Kevin R. Filo, Daniel C. Funk and Danny O’Brien

Participatory sport events have emerged as viable fundraising mechanisms for charitable organizations. This article examines the impact that motives for charitable giving and sport event participation have on charity sport events. The authors examine the factors that attract participants to a charity sport event, while the role of charity in fostering attachment to the event is explored. Focus groups were conducted with charity sport event participants to discuss what motivated their participation. Results revealed that intellectual, social, and competency motives along with the motives of reciprocity, self-esteem, need to help others, and desire to improve the charity contribute to attraction. In addition, the results suggest that the charitable component influences social and competency motives and contributes to the development of attachment to the event. The authors recommend event managers work to foster and leverage the sense of community created through these events.