Few studies have investigated physical activity changes over the transition from primary to secondary school. This study assessed change in physical activity and the psychosocial correlates across 12 months in two cohorts of adolescent girls, who were either in primary school in year 1, moving to secondary school in year 2 (Transition cohort) or an older cohort (Secondary cohort) who remained in early secondary school. Female adolescents (n = 191; 38% response rate) in South Australia self-reported physical activity and psychosocial correlates of physical activity. Changes between baseline and 12-month follow-up were assessed using paired t-tests. Multiple regression modelling identified psychosocial predictors of physical activity change. Physical activity declined in the transition but not the secondary cohort. The decline was most pronounced during school break times. Independent predictors of physical activity change were: change in enjoyment in the transition cohort; and changes in enjoyment, perceived outcomes, and friend encouragement in the secondary cohort. Transitioning from primary to secondary school is a critical period during which physical activity typically declines, particularly among females. Effective physical activity promotion in this vulnerable group will depend on a deeper understanding of the sociocultural, curricular and environmental influences on physical activity that are unique to each school context.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 6 Dec 2019|
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