It is important to examine theoretically the determinants of exercise for middle school children because of the rapid decline in exercise during adolescence. The purpose for this study was to examine the validity of the Stages of Change (SOC) construct of the Transtheoretical Model with 387 middle school children. The students completed an SOC, barrier self-efficacy, and decisional balance questionnaire, as well as objective and self-report measures of exercise behavior/fitness level. Classification by SOC revealed that 236 children were in the maintenance stage, 108 in the action stage, 25 in the preparation stage, and 18 in the contemplation/precontemplation stage. Barrier self-efficacy, 1-mile run/walk, curl-up, and push-up scores improved at each level from the precontemplation through to the maintenance stage. There were no significant differences in decisional balance scores across the SOC. This study provided preliminary cognitive and behavioral support for the use of the SOC construct with middle school children.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Life-span and Life-course Studies