Purpose Although the decline of physical activity in adolescent girls is well-documented, there are girls whose physical activity does not follow this pattern. This study examined the relationships between physical activity trajectories and personal, psychosocial, and environmental factors among adolescent girls. Methods Participants were from the University of Maryland field site of the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls. Of 730 girls measured in 8th grade, 589 were remeasured in 11th grade. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was assessed by accelerometers; participants were categorized as active maintainers (n = 31), inactive maintainers (n = 410), adopters (n = 64), or relapsers (n = 56). Height and weight were measured, personal and psychosocial information was collected from surveys, and distance from home to school and parks was assessed from Geographical Information Systems. Multivariable logistic regression was used for data analysis. Results Variables at individual, social, and environmental levels predicted active maintainers and inactive maintainers, while only individual-level variables predicted adoption. None predicted relapse. Higher (favorable) scores for physical self-concept, perceived body fat, friend and family physical activity support, frequency of physical activity with friends, and shorter distance from home to a park predicted active maintainers. Overweight/obese status, earlier age at menses, and lower scores for physical self-concept, perceived body fat, friend physical activity support, and frequency of physical activity with friends, and farther distance from home to school predicted inactive maintainers. High physical self-concept and not being overweight/obese predicted adopters. Conclusions Multilevel factors appear to predict behavior maintenance rather than actual change.
- Longitudinal study
- Physical activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health