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Social Cognitive Factors Associated With Physical Activity in Elementary School Girls

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Objective: To examine social cognitive factors associated with physical activity (PA) among preadolescent girls. Method: Social cognitive theory was used to examine PA in girls (N=90; 71% African American) participating in Girls on the Run. Multiple regressions explored factors associated with PA at posttesting and 3-month follow-up. Results: Significant increases in PA, social influences, and self-efficacy were found, which were sustained at 3-month follow-up. Self-efficacy and social influences had the strongest relations to PA at posttest; self-efficacy remained the strongest predictor of PA at 3-month follow-up. Conclusions: Social support and self-efficacy are important targets of PA interventions in preadolescent girls.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology, Children's Hospital of Richmond & Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA. 2: Chesterfield County Public Schools, Teacher Consultant, Elementary Language Arts Department, Instructional Division Center (IDC), Richmond, VA, USA 3: Associate Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology, Children's Hospital of Richmond & Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA 4: Associate Professor, Department of psychology and co-director of cancer control research, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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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.

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