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David A. Dzewaltowski and Richard R. Rosenkranz

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.

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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.

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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.

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Kent A. Lorenz, Hans van der Mars, Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Barbara E. Ainsworth and Melbourne F. Hovell

: brief review and guidelines . Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2014 ; 24 ( 3–4 ): 445 – 463 . PubMed doi:10.1080/09602011.2013.815636 23883189 10.1080/09602011.2013.815636 26. Cohen J . Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences . 2nd ed . Hillsdale, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates ; 1988

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David Martinez-Gomez, Oscar Luis Veiga, Belen Zapatera, Sonia Gomez-Martinez, David Martínez and Ascension Marcos

Background:

The morning recess period during school days represents a regular opportunity to accumulate physical activity (PA). However, little is known about the contribution of recess to PA guidelines (60 min/day in moderate-to-vigorous PA [MVPA]) in adolescents.

Methods:

This study comprised 1065 Spanish adolescents (52% girls), aged 13 to 16 years. Adolescents completed a validated Recess PA Recall in 2007–2008. Differences in levels of PA during the recess period were analyzed by gender, age group, type of school, school location, immigrant status, weight status, fitness levels and snack eating during recess.

Results:

Adolescent boys spent more time in MVPA (7.7 vs. 6.4 min in MVPA, P = .009) and were more active (29.6% vs. 24.5% in MVPA, P = .007) than girls during the recess period. Adolescent boys in the youngest age group and with the school located in cities were more active than their peers (all P < .05). There were no differences in levels of PA during recess by all the descriptive characteristics in adolescent girls (all P > .05).

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that recess in Spanish high schools may contribute to the daily recommended MVPA for adolescents, but greater efforts must be implemented to increase PA levels among adolescent girls during this school period.

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Meghan Baruth, Sara Wilcox, Cheryl Der Ananian and Sue Heiney

Background:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

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.

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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.

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David A. Ferrer and Rebecca Ellis

Background:

The use of social networking sites to deliver behavioral interventions is becoming more prevalent. The purpose of this review was to systematically evaluate the published research to determine the effectiveness of Facebook-delivered interventions for promoting physical activity behavior change.

Methods:

A search of interventions delivered via Facebook (as the primary delivery method or part of a multifaceted intervention) in which physical activity was the primary or secondary outcome resulted in 8 studies for review.

Results:

Overall, 87.5% of the Facebook interventions reported some type of significant physical activity behavior change (ie, interactions, main effects for time, differences between conditions); however, only 2 of these interventions found this change to be significantly better for the treatment group than the control group.

Conclusion:

Future researchers are encouraged to test the effectiveness of Facebook-delivered physical activity interventions with additional control groups that receive no aspects of the intervention within experimental study designs, more diverse samples, theory-based content with assessment of mediators of behavior change, direct observations of physical activity, and long-term follow-ups. Although based on a small sample of studies, Facebook appears to be a promising delivery method for physical activity interventions.

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Sarah Burkart, Jasmin Roberts, Matthew C. Davidson and Sofiya Alhassan

Background: Poor adaptive learning behaviors (ie, distractibility, inattention, and disruption) are associated with behavior problems and underachievement in school, as well as indicating potential attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Strategies are needed to limit these behaviors. Physical activity (PA) has been suggested to improve behavior in school-aged children, but little is known about this relationship in preschoolers. This study examined the effects of a PA intervention on classroom behaviors in preschool-aged children. Methods:Eight preschool classrooms (n = 71 children; age = 3.8 ± 0.7 y) with children from low socioeconomic environments were randomized to a locomotor-based PA (LB-PA) or unstructured free playtime (UF-PA) group. Both interventions were implemented by classroom teachers and delivered for 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week for 6 months. Classroom behavior was measured in both groups at 3 time points, whereas PA was assessed at 2 time points over a 6-month period and analyzed with hierarchical linear modeling. Results:Linear growth models showed significant decreases in hyperactivity (LB-PA: −2.58 points, P = .001; UF-PA: 2.33 points, P = .03), aggression (LB-PA: −2.87 points, P = .01; UF-PA: 0.97 points, P = .38) and inattention (LB-PA: 1.59 points, P < .001; UF-PA: 3.91 points, P < .001). Conclusions: This research provides promising evidence for the efficacy of LB-PA as a strategy to improve classroom behavior in preschoolers.

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Loren Vandenbroucke, Jan Seghers, Karine Verschueren, Anne I. Wijtzes and Dieter Baeyens

Background:

The current study investigates how children’s amount of daily physical activity relates to subcomponents of executive functions, the cognitive processes needed for goal-directed behavior. Previous studies rarely determined this association at the subcomponent level and did not explicitly examine the period when children make the transition to first grade, despite its importance for the development of executive functions.

Methods:

In a sample of 54 children, working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility were thoroughly measured at the subcomponent level at the end of kindergarten and first grade. In the middle of first grade, children wore a pedometer for 7 consecutive days.

Results:

Regression analyses showed that performance on a measure of the visuospatial sketchpad, the central executive, and fluency was predicted by children’s amount of daily physical activity after controlling for initial task performance.

Conclusions:

The development of the visuospatial sketchpad (working memory), the central executive (working memory), and fluency (cognitive flexibility) might be improved by increasing the amount of time being physically active. However, as other subcomponents of executive functioning were not affected, the role of other aspects of physical activity, such as intensity and content, in the development of executive functions should be further investigated.