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Determinants of Physical Activity in Middle School Children

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Objective: To evaluate the theory of reasoned action (TRA) and planned behavior (TPB) in predicting moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in sixth-grade youth. Methods: One hundred ninety-eight students completed a questionnaire measuring attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and intentions to be active. MVPA was measured using the CSA 7,164 accelerometer. Results: Although demonstrating an acceptable fit, the TRA and TPB accounted for only a small percentage of the variance in MVPA. In support of the TPB, the addition of control perceptions to the reasoned action model added to the prediction of intentions and MVPA. Conclusion: Within our sample of sixth graders, the utility of the TRA or TPB as a framework for activity interventions appears to be limited.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. 2: Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. 3: Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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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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