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Keywords:

  • Adolescent;
  • obesity;
  • physical self-perception;
  • resistance training

Summary

Objectives

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.

Methods

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, BMIz-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.

Results

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).

Conclusions

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