PUBERTAL TIMING, TYPE OF MOTIVATION, AND PERCEIVED ATHLETIC COMPETENCE AS PREDICTORS OF ADOLESCENT GIRLS’ PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Open Access
Author:
Baker, Birgitta L
Graduate Program:
Leisure Studies
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
November 29, 2007
Committee Members:
  • Alan R Graefe, Committee Chair
  • Kirsten Davison, Committee Chair
  • Andrew Justin Mowen, Committee Member
  • Deborah Lee Kerstetter, Committee Member
  • Leann L Birch, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • adolescents
  • physical activity
  • motivation. perceived athletic competence
  • puberty
Abstract:
This study examined biological, social, psychological factors that predict adolescent girls’ physical activity. Specifically, pubertal timing, body fatness, type of motivation, and perceived athletic competence were examined. Three article manuscripts comprise the body of the dissertation. The relationship between pubertal timing and subsequent physical activity was examined in the first manuscript (Chapter 2). Girls with more advanced pubertal status at age 11 were less physically active at age 13. Type of motivation was the focus of the second paper (Chapter 3). Self-determination theory was used to guide the analyses in this chapter. Results from logistic regression analyses indicated that age 9 perceived athletic competence and parental autonomy granting were positively related to girls’ intrinsic motivation for physical activity across ages 9-13 and negatively related to girls’ extrinsic (weight related) motivation for physical activity across ages 9-13. Intrinsic motivation was, in turn, positively related to girls’ accelerometer-measured physical activity at age 13. The role of perceived athletic competence in predicting physical activity was examined in the third manuscript (Chapter 4). Results indicated that both age 11 perceived athletic competence and the change in perceived athletic competence between ages 11 and 13 were significant predictors of age 13 physical activity. Age 11 perceived athletic competence was predicted by age 9 sport participation and body fat percentage while the change in perceived athletic competence between ages 11 and 13 was predicted by age 9 breast development. Taken together, these studies highlight the complexity of factors related to adolescent girls’ physical activity. Findings from these three papers suggest that puberty and perceived athletic competence are related to adolescent girls’ physical activity. In addition, the importance of examining both point estimates and changes across time is illustrated by the results from these studies.