Perceived physical environment and physical activity across one year among adolescent girls: Self-efficacy as a possible mediator?

Academic Article


  • Purpose: This study involved an examination of the direct and mediated effects of perceived equipment accessibility and neighborhood safety on physical activity across a one-year period among adolescent girls. Methods: Adolescent girls (N = 1,038) completed self-report measures of perceived environment, barriers self-efficacy, and physical activity in the Spring semesters of 1999 (baseline) and 2000 (follow-up) when students were in the 8th and 9th grades. Results: An initial analysis demonstrated that neighborhood safety did not exhibit cross-sectional or longitudinal direct effects on physical activity, whereas equipment accessibility exhibited a statistically significant cross-sectional, but not longitudinal, direct effect on physical activity. The secondary analysis demonstrated that self-efficacy for overcoming barriers mediated the cross-sectional effect of equiment accessibility on physical activity. Conclusions: We conclude that the cross-sectional effect of perceived equipment accessibility on physical activity is mediated by self-efficacy for overcoming barriers among adolescent girls. This is consistent with the reciprocal relationships among the environment, person, and behavior described by social-cognitive theory. © 2005 Society for Adolescent Medicine. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Motl RW; Dishman RK; Ward DS; Saunders RP; Dowda M; Felton G; Pate RR
  • Start Page

  • 403
  • End Page

  • 408
  • Volume

  • 37