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The Role of Self-efficacy and Referent Specific Social Support in Promoting Rural Adolescent Girls' Physical Activity

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Objective: To examine the role of social support (SS) and self-efficacy (SE) for physical activity (PA) in rural high school girls (N = 259, 15.5+1.2yrs).

Methods: Using structural equation modeling, the relationships among PA, SS for PA from mother, father, and peers, and SE for overcoming barriers, seeking support, and resisting competing activities were tested.

Results: The effect of peer SS on PA was partially mediated through overcoming barriers. The effect of support seeking on PA was fully mediated through peer SS to overcoming barriers. Neither parent influenced PA.

Conclusions: Peer SS and specific dimensions of SE should be considered in intervention studies.
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Keywords: high school; overweight; parents; peers; psychosocial influence; television

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-05-01

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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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