“I Actually Have to Decide What I’m Doing:” How Youth Maintain Active Lifestyles in the Transition to Young Adulthood

Jennifer P. Agans, Richard M. Lerner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Even formerly active people can struggle to engage in leisure time physical activity (LTPA) throughout life. Although predictors of LTPA are widely studied, experiences of change in LTPA trajectories are rarely assessed. In this study we interviewed young adults who had been highly active as adolescents (N = 11), and used grounded theory to better understand what facilitated or inhibited their ability to maintain the active lifestyle they had in high school. Results point to participants’ agentic choices playing a central role in their LTPA behavior, influenced by characteristics of the participants, their contexts, and their LTPA experiences. These findings suggest that perceived agency contributes to young people’s ability to maintain their active lifestyles in the transition to young adulthood (at least for the privileged youth in our sample), and point to the need for additional research on how to encourage active youth to choose to continue their active lifestyles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalLeisure Sciences
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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