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Pediatr Obes. 2012 Jun;7(3):e27-32. doi: 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2012.00050.x. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Improving physical self-perception in adolescent boys from disadvantaged schools: psychological outcomes from the Physical Activity Leaders randomized controlled trial.

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Faculty of Education & Arts, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia.



To evaluate the effect of a school-based obesity prevention programme on physical self-perception and key physical-activity related cognitions in adolescent boys from disadvantaged secondary schools. A secondary objective was to determine if any psychological changes were associated with improved weight status.


Participants (n = 100, age = 14.3[0.6]) were randomized to the PALS (Physical Activity Leaders) intervention (n = 50) or a control group (n = 50) and assessed at baseline, 3- and 6-month follow up. Measures included BMI, BMI z-score and % body fat (bioelectrical impedance analysis). Students also completed the Children's Physical Self-Perception Profile and a physical activity-related cognitions questionnaire. The findings include secondary data analyses.


Relative to the controls, the PALS group significantly increased their physical self worth (p = .01), perceived physical condition (p = .02), resistance training self efficacy (p < .001) and their use of physical activity behavioural strategies (p = .02).


A school-based obesity prevention programme that targeted leadership skills improved psychological health in the physical domain in adolescent boys from disadvantaged schools.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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