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Social Support and Youth Physical Activity: The Role of Provider and Type

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Objective: To examine provider and type variation in social support (SS) for activity. Methods: Three hundred sixty-three fifth to eighth-grade students completed a questionnaire assessing self-reported activity and social support (SS) from 3 providers: mom, dad, and peers. Important covariates of activity were included in the analysis: age, BMI, sex, and maturation. Results: Structural equation modeling indicated peers, transportation, and praise affected activity levels. Boys reported greater SS than girls did. Maturation, age, and BMI exhibited unique affects on SS. Conclusions: Increasing positive feedback, transportation to places to be active, and peer support may prove advantageous in improving activity levels in this age-group.

Keywords: Sports; VPA; children; family; parents; peers

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Public Health, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 2: Clearwater Elementary School USD 264, Clearwater, KS 3: School of Nursing, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS 4: Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Professions, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS 5: Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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