Positive youth development (PYD) is an emerging area of study and practice that targets fostering the assets of young people to avoid problem behaviors and excel in meeting diverse life challenges. This paper describes how PYD evolved from treating problem behaviors to preventing problem behaviors in at-risk youth, to more recently helping all youth thrive and excel in numerous domains. Although evidence to inform community policy and practice has emerged, there is a lack of consensus on how to define PYD, and this lack of consensus has impacted progress in PYD physical activity behavioral science. This paper recommends PYD physical activity behavioral science reject disciplinary boundaries and (a) examine the nature of person-environment interaction in the context of physical activity as the primary outcome, (b) target big-picture physical activity outcome questions, and (c) come to a consensus on the domains of physical activity behavioral science research competencies.
David A. Dzewaltowski and Richard R. Rosenkranz
Brent D. Slife
Behavioral science researchers have long acknowledged that their methods have certain technical limits: measurement errors, design restrictions, problems of inference, and other factors. Within these limits, however, many researchers have assumed that their methods provide truthful, accurate, or objective renderings of their subject matter. The problem is that the philosophical limitations of method qua method are often overlooked. Method is not a neutral tool of inquiry but a biased metatheory about how to adjudicate theories and findings. This bias is most evident in the modernist foundations for traditional science. Three modernist assumptions are described as integral to the philosophy and practice of traditional behavioral science: universalism, materialism, and atomism. For purposes of contrast and to facilitate conversation about these assumptions, three postmodern assumptions are also described: contextuality, lived experience, and radical holism. Neither set of assumptions is advocated. Rather, an evaluation of any method and its philosophy is advocated in light of the questions being asked and subject matter being investigated.
David A. Dzewaltowski, Mary McElroy, Timothy I. Musch, David C. Poole, and Craig A. Harms
Kinesiology is an academic discipline with a body of content that can be drawn on to support professions and to solve important public health problems. The Kansas State Physical Activity Systems Framework defines a new approach to structure the discipline. Central to the framework is the rejection of a kinesiology subdisciplinary approach and the adoption of an integrated “cell-to-society” systems approach. Each level of physical activity systems is addressed in undergraduate and graduate education and research. Supporting the framework are two research and education teams: exercise physiology and exercise behavioral science. These teams provide core integrated academic discipline content expertise and expertise for integrating professional application areas, such as public health. The framework has evolved over 20 years at Kansas State University, where today the Department of Kinesiology delivers high-quality extramurally-funded research; BS, MS, MPH, and PhD programs; and outreach in a cost-effective manner.
Kent A. Lorenz, Hans van der Mars, Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Barbara E. Ainsworth, and Melbourne F. Hovell
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Meghan Baruth, Sara Wilcox, Cheryl Der Ananian, and Sue Heiney
Adjuvant treatment for breast cancer may result in long-lasting, adverse emotional and physical side effects, and reduce quality of life (QOL). This pilot study examined the effects of a home-based walking program on QOL and fatigue in early stage breast cancer survivors and whether changes in walking behavior were associated with changes in outcomes.
Participants (n = 32) were randomized to a 12-week home-based walking intervention plus brief telephone counseling (n = 20) or a wait-list control group (n = 12). Self-reported fatigue, QOL, and walking were assessed at baseline and 12-weeks. Results are presented as effect sizes.
Participants in the intervention had improvements in a majority of fatigue and QOL outcomes, whereas the control group had no change or worsened in many; effect sizes were generally in the small to medium range. Changes in fatigue/QOL outcomes were associated with changes in walking behavior, with effects generally in the small to medium range.
Home-based physical activity (walking) programs may be an appropriate avenue for alleviating the adverse side effects that often accompany adjuvant treatment for breast cancer. These programs have potential for widespread dissemination, which may have considerable impact on the quality of life of women recently completing breast cancer treatment.
Johannes Carl, Gorden Sudeck, and Klaus Pfeifer
Background: The World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018–2030 states that physical activity interventions should strengthen peoples’ competencies for health. Yet, frameworks that bundle pivotal competencies for a healthy and physically active lifestyle have not been extensively discussed in the past. Results: In the present article, the authors therefore present the model of Physical Activity-related Health Competence (PAHCO), an integrative structure model including the 3 areas of movement competence, control competence, and self-regulation competence. After providing a rationale for the use of the competence concept, the authors focus on implications from the PAHCO model to guide interventions for the promotion of a healthy and physically active lifestyle. The authors argue that the PAHCO model is located at the interface between health literacy and physical literacy, research areas that have gained increasing scholarly attention in recent years. In addition, PAHCO appears to be compatible with the concept of health capability because it can represent the important aspect of agency. Conclusions: The article concludes with a scientific positioning of model components and some empirical results that have been accumulated so far.
Russell T. Nye, Melissa Mercincavage, and Steven A. Branstetter
How addiction severity relates to physical activity (PA), and if PA moderates the relation between PA and lung function among smokers, is unknown. This study explored the independent and interactive associations of nicotine addiction severity and PA with lung function.
The study used cross-sectional data from 343 adult smokers aged 40 to 79 participating in the 2009–10 and 2011–12 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Assessed were the independent relations of nicotine addiction severity, as measured by the time to first cigarette (TTFC), and average daily minutes of moderate and vigorous PA with lung function ratio (FEV1/FVC). Additional analysis examined whether PA moderated the relationship between addiction severity and lung function.
Greater lung function was independently associated with moderate PA and later TTFC, but not vigorous PA, when controlling for cigarettes per day (CPD), past month smoking, ethnicity, years smoked, and gender (P-values < .05). PA did not moderate the association between addiction severity (TTFC) and lung function (P = .441).
Among middle-aged to older smokers, increased PA and lower addiction severity were associated with greater lung function, independent of CPD. This may inform research into the protective role of PA and identification of risk factors for interventions.
Meghan L. Butryn, Evan Forman, Kimberly Hoffman, Jena Shaw, and Adrienne Juarascio
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) appears to have some promise as a method of promoting physical activity.
This pilot study evaluated the short-term effectiveness of a brief, physical-activity-focused ACT intervention. Young adult, female participants were randomly assigned to an Education (n = 19) or ACT (n = 35) intervention. Both interventions consisted of 2, 2-hour group sessions. ACT sessions taught skills for mindfulness, values clarification, and willingness to experience distress in the service of behavior change.
Of the intervention completers, ACT participants increased their level of physical activity significantly more than Education participants.
The results indicate that ACT approaches have the potential to promote short-term increases in physical activity.
Hannah Dorling, Jieg Blervacq, and Yori Gidron
Background: Effects of health education (HE) on physical activity (PA) are limited. Also, HE fails to address people’s personal barriers and social pressures. In contrast, “psychological inoculation” (PI) targets both topics. This research examined the effects of PI versus HE on PA-related barriers and on self-reported PA in 2 studies. Methods: Randomized controlled trials were employed. Study 1 (N = 20) took place in Britain, while study 2 (N = 40) in Belgium, with nonphysically active participants. PI exposed people to challenging sentences reflecting barriers concerning PA, which they had to refute. In study 1, PA barriers and self-reported PA levels were assessed before and a week after interventions. In study 2, the degree of refuting challenging sentences was estimated and the level of PA was assessed before and 2 months after interventions. Results: In study 1, in the PI condition alone, PA barriers significantly decreased and self-reported PA increased. Change in barriers correlated with posttreatment PA. In study 2, PA increased only in the PI group. Level of rejecting challenging sentences predicted PA later. Most group differences remained when controlling for baseline measures. Conclusions: PI is more effective than HE for increasing PA, and reducing its barriers is essential for this.
MinKyoung Song, Robert F. Corwyn, Robert H. Bradley, and Julie C. Lumeng
Background: Temperament activity level can serve as a proxy for nondeliberate activity and an important part of overall energy expenditure. However, little is known about any association between temperament activity level and children’s levels of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity. We examined whether temperament activity level in young children is associated with moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity later in childhood and midadolescence. We also assessed if parenting behaviors moderate any association. Methods: Data were obtained from 799 children and their mothers involved in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Growth curve analyses were used to examine the relationships over time, controlling for child and parent characteristics. Results: High temperament activity level at age 4.5 was associated with higher moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity at age 9 (β = 5.15; SE =2.47; P < .001). The association became no longer significant after 10.2 years of age. The association was moderated by parental support for physical activity (β = −2.56; SE = 1.01; P = .01). Conclusions: Low temperament activity level in early childhood was a risk factor for low physical activity in later childhood and adolescence. Parental support for physical activity may be beneficial for children whose temperament activity level is low.