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J Adolesc Health. 2005 Nov;37(5):403-8.

Perceived physical environment and physical activity across one year among adolescent girls: self-efficacy as a possible mediator?

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Department of Kinesiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801-3895, USA.



This study involved an examination of the direct and mediated effects of perceived equipment accessibility and neighborhood safety on physical activity across a one-year period among adolescent girls.


Adolescent girls (N = 1,038) completed self-report measures of perceived environment, barriers self-efficacy, and physical activity in the Spring semesters of 1999 (baseline) and 2000 (follow-up) when students were in the 8th and 9th grades.


An initial analysis demonstrated that neighborhood safety did not exhibit cross-sectional or longitudinal direct effects on physical activity, whereas equipment accessibility exhibited a statistically significant cross-sectional, but not longitudinal, direct effect on physical activity. The secondary analysis demonstrated that self-efficacy for overcoming barriers mediated the cross-sectional effect of equipment accessibility on physical activity.


We conclude that the cross-sectional effect of perceived equipment accessibility on physical activity is mediated by self-efficacy for overcoming barriers among adolescent girls. This is consistent with the reciprocal relationships among the environment, person, and behavior described by social-cognitive theory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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