Date of Award:

12-2009

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Renee Galliher

Abstract

The "obesity epidemic" in the United States is a current health concern that has sparked research interest in physical activity as a means of weight management. However, little research has examined the physical activity behaviors of rural adolescents. The goal of the current study was to use a biopsychosocial framework to examine the physical activity behaviors of a sample of rural adolescents, and explore factors associated with physical activity participation.

A sample of 162 ninth- and tenth-grade students in a rural, western community were recruited for this study. Generally, the sample reported levels of physical activity for both genders that are higher than the national average. Additionally, a significant difference in physical activity between genders was not found. Results indicated that school-sponsored, low- or no-cost sports are essential to physical activity participation. Psychological factors and parent and peer support were also strongly associated with physical activity.

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