Background/Purpose The Youth Physical Activity Promotion model provides a theoretical framework from which to examine the predisposing, enabling and reinforcing factors influencing PA. The purpose of this study was to examine the gender differences in predisposing, enabling and reinforcing factors influencing middleschoolers over a two year period. In addition, parenting practices relating to physical activity and sport were examined.
Method The Children's Physical Activity Correlates Scale, and Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale were administered to 66 boys (n = 31) and girls (n = 35) over a two year period. The Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children was also administered at three times during the semester each year. Parents' practices relating to PA was assessed by the Activity-Related Parenting Practices Scale which was completed at home during Year I and returned to school.
Analysis/Results Paired sample t-tests were used to determine mean differences in student activity levels and participant attitudes and perceptions of psychosocial correlates over the two-year reporting period. Differences in parent activity-related practices were assessed using paired sample t-tests.
Boys reported higher levels of PA than girls. Scores reported for ‘enjoyment' of PA and ‘self-esteem' were significantly lower in girls. Mothers reported significantly higher explicit modeling behaviors for their daughters than sons.
Conclusions Programs and interventions that encourage competence and make physical activity attractive will provide greater benefit for youth. Supporting parents with logistical support may provide time for parents to model active behaviors. Parents and children need to communicate about the importance of being physical active.