Youth at risk of physical inactivity may benefit more from activity-related support than youth not at risk
1 Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior, University at Albany (SUNY), Albany NY, USA
2 Department of Parks, Recreation, & Tourism Management, Clemsen University, Clemson, SC 29634-0735, USA
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2006, 3:5 doi:10.1186/1479-5868-3-5Published: 28 March 2006
This study examines whether associations between activity-related support and adolescents' physical activity differ for adolescents at high versus low risk of physical inactivity.
Participants included 202 middle-school-aged girls (N = 92) and boys (N = 110). Physical activity was assessed using three self-report questionnaires. Activity-related support from mothers, fathers, siblings, and peers was assessed using the Activity Support Scale. Perceived sport competence was assessed using the Physical Activity Self Description Questionnaire. Participants' height and weight were measured and used to calculate their age- and sex-adjusted Body Mass Index percentile. Participants were classified as being at high risk for physical inactivity if they fulfilled two of the following three criteria: (1) overweight; (2) female; or (3) having low perceived sport competence.
Activity-related support from all sources was associated with higher levels of physical activity among adolescents. A stronger association between activity support and physical activity was found for adolescents at high risk for physical inactivity in comparison to adolescents at low risk.
Findings from this study suggest that the activity-related support from family and friends may be an effective tool in promoting physical activity among youth at risk of physical inactivity.