Perceived physical environment and physical activity across one year among adolescent girls: Self-efficacy as a possible mediator?

Robert W. Motl, Rod K. Dishman, Dianne S. Ward, Ruth P. Saunders, Marsha Dowda, Gwen Felton, Russell R. Pate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study involved an examination of the direct and mediated effects of perceived equipment accessibility and neighborhood safety on physical activity across a one-year period among adolescent girls. Methods: Adolescent girls (N = 1,038) completed self-report measures of perceived environment, barriers self-efficacy, and physical activity in the Spring semesters of 1999 (baseline) and 2000 (follow-up) when students were in the 8th and 9th grades. Results: An initial analysis demonstrated that neighborhood safety did not exhibit cross-sectional or longitudinal direct effects on physical activity, whereas equipment accessibility exhibited a statistically significant cross-sectional, but not longitudinal, direct effect on physical activity. The secondary analysis demonstrated that self-efficacy for overcoming barriers mediated the cross-sectional effect of equiment accessibility on physical activity. Conclusions: We conclude that the cross-sectional effect of perceived equipment accessibility on physical activity is mediated by self-efficacy for overcoming barriers among adolescent girls. This is consistent with the reciprocal relationships among the environment, person, and behavior described by social-cognitive theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-408
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Determinants
  • Physical activity
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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