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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Mediators of the effect of the JUMP-in intervention on physical activity and sedentary behavior in Dutch primary schoolchildren from disadvantaged neighborhoods

Maartje M van Stralen1, Judith de Meij12*, Saskia J te Velde3, Marcel F van der Wal2, Willem van Mechelen1, Dirk L Knol3 and Mai JM Chinapaw1

Author Affiliations

1 EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research and the Department of Public and Occupational Health, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2 Department of Epidemiology, Documentation and Health Promotion, Municipal Health Service Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3 EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012, 9:131  doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-131

Published: 6 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Important health benefits can be achieved when physical activity in children from low socio-economic status is promoted and sedentariness is limited. By specifying the mediating mechanisms of existing interventions one can improve future physical activity interventions. This study explored potential mediators of the long-term effect of the school-based multicomponent JUMP-in intervention on sport participation, outdoor play and screen time in Dutch primary schoolchildren from disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Methods

In total, 600 primary schoolchildren (aged 9.8 ± 0.7, 51% girls, 13% Dutch ethnicity, 35% overweight) from 9 intervention and 10 control schools were included in the analyses. JUMP-in was developed using Intervention Mapping, and targeted psychological and environmental determinants of physical activity. Outcome behaviors were self-reported sport participation, outdoor play, TV-viewing behavior and computer use. Potential mediators were self-reported psychological, social and physical environmental factors.

Results

JUMP-in was effective in improving sport participation after 20 months, but not in improving outdoor play, or reducing TV-viewing or computer time. JUMP-in was not effective in changing hypothesized mediators so no significant mediated effects could be identified. However, changes in self-efficacy, social support and habit strength were positively associated with changes in sport participation, and changes in social support, self-efficacy, perceived planning skills, enjoyment and habit strength were positively associated with changes in outdoor play. Changes in enjoyment was positively associated with changes in TV-viewing while parental rules were negatively associated. Having a computer in the bedroom and enjoyment were positively associated with changes in computer use, while changes in parental rules were negatively associated.

Conclusions

Besides a significant positive effect on sports participation, no significant intervention effect on outdoor play, screen time or any of the potential mediators was found. This suggest that other (unmeasured) factors operated as mediating mechanisms of the intervention, that we used unsuccessful intervention strategies, that the strategies were inappropriately implemented, or that children are unable to accurately recall past activities and cognitions. Additionally, the school setting might not be the sole channel to influence leisure time activities. Still, several personal and environmental constructs were found to be relevant in predicting change in sport participation, outdoor play and screen behavior and seem to be potential mediators. Future interventions are recommended including more effective strategies targeting these relevant constructs, addressing different constructs (e.g. pedagogic skills of parents), and focusing on different implementation settings.

Trail registration

ISRCTN17489378

Keywords:
Mediating; Working mechanisms; Youth; Intervention; Physical activity; Sport; Sedentary; Sitting; Television