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.
- Physical activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health