Adolescent self-reported physical activity and autonomy: A case for constrained and structured environments?

Rachele, Jerome N., Jaakkola, Timo, Washington, Tracy L., Cuddihy, Thomas F., & McPhail, Steven M. (2015) Adolescent self-reported physical activity and autonomy: A case for constrained and structured environments? Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 14, pp. 568-573.

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Abstract

The provision of autonomy supportive environments that promote physical activity engagement have become popular in contemporary youth settings. However, questions remain about whether adolescent perceptions of their autonomy have implications for physical activity. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the association between adolescents’ self-reported physical activity and their perceived autonomy. Participants (n = 384 adolescents) aged between 12 and 15 years were recruited from six secondary schools in metropolitan Brisbane, Australia. Self-reported measures of physical activity and autonomy were obtained. Logistic regression with inverse probability weights were used to examine the association between autonomy and the odds of meeting youth physical activity guidelines. Autonomy (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.49-0.76) and gender (OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.46-0.83) were negatively associated with meeting physical activity guidelines. However, the model explained only a small amount of the variation in whether youth in this sample met physical activity guidelines (R2 = 0.023). For every 1 unit decrease in autonomy (on an index from 1 to 5), participants were 1.64 times more likely to meet physical activity guidelines. The findings, which are at odds with several previous studies, suggest that interventions designed to facilitate youth physical activity should limit opportunities for youth to make independent decisions about their engagement. However, the small amount of variation explained by the predictors in the model is a caveat, and should be considered prior to applying such suggestions in practical settings. Future research should continue to examine a larger age range, longitudinal observational or intervention studies to examine assertions of causality, as well as objective measurement of physical activity.

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ID Code: 85650
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: adolescent, autonomy, physical activity, self-determination theory, self-report
ISSN: 1303-2968
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified (110699)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Preventive Medicine (111716)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OTHER MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (119900)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OTHER MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (119900) > Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified (119999)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > OTHER BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (129900)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > OTHER BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (129900) > Built Environment and Design not elsewhere classified (129999)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Deposited On: 16 Jul 2015 22:42
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2015 00:23

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