Factors associated with tweens’ intentions to sustain participation in an innovative community-based physical activity intervention

Rita D. DeBate, Robert J. McDermott, Julie A. Baldwin, Carol A. Bryant, Anita H. Courtney, David L. Hogeboom, Jen Nickelson, Leah M. Phiilips, Moya L. Alfonso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Participation in free-time play, including individual and group activities, is important during youth as patterns of physical activity established then persist into adulthood. The VERB Summer Scorecard (VSS) intervention is an innovative physical activity promotion initiative that offers tweens (8-13 year-olds) opportunities to be active during the summer months when increased sedentariness can occur, leading to weight gain and a predisposition for further inactivity. Purpose: This study identified factors associated with intentions to participate in VSS among tweens previously exposed to the intervention. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 1,063 middle school youth using a 39-item survey and performed a multi-level analysis. Results: Being female (OR=1.43), having tried a new physical activity (OR=1.59), not currently participating in out-of-school activities but wanting to (OR=2.60), and self-monitoring of physical activity (OR=4.42 to 7.50) were associated with future intention to participate in VSS. Discussion: Adoption of the VSS seemed to inspire some tweens to initiate and sustain activity. VSS appealed to tween girls, an especially important priority audience because of the observed tendency of girls'physical activity to decline during the teen years. Moreover, VSS offered youth the opportunity for trying a variety of games, sports, and other activities. Additionally, the tangible practice of monitoring physical activity (via the scorecard) appeared to have a favorable impact on intention to participate again in VSS. Translation to Health Education Practice: Implications for school and community based physical activity interventions include structures that incorporate trialabilty and observability as mechanisms for increasing likelihood of intervention adoption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-138
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Factors associated with tweens’ intentions to sustain participation in an innovative community-based physical activity intervention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this