VERB™ summer scorecard: findings from a multi-level community-based physical activity intervention for tweens

Rita D. DeBate, Julie A. Baldwin, Zachary Thompson, Jen Nickelson, Moya L. Alfonso, Carol A. Bryant, Leah M. Phillips, Robert J. McDermott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The benefits of physical activity for adolescents are well established. Multi-level interventions may be especially effective in establishing and sustaining health-enhancing behaviors. This study explored the influences of a multi-level community intervention aimed at increasing physical activity among tweens (youth 9-13). Two Florida school districts far apart served as intervention and comparison sites in a quasi-experimental post-test design. Youth in grades 5 through 8 in the intervention community (n = 1,253) and comparison community (n = 866) completed an anonymous post-intervention survey. An intent-to-treat analysis did not show any statistically significant group differences for the physical activity outcomes examined. However, a subset analysis revealed that students who reported participating in the intervention were more likely to be physically active than youth in the comparison group, as well as youth in the intervention community who reported not participating. Participating in the intervention was significantly related to meeting recommendations for vigorous physical activity (OR = 2. 08, P = 0. 0259), being physically active on weekends (OR = 1. 84, P = 0. 0017), and reporting more days of trying a new game or sport (OR = 1. 49, P = 0. 046) after controlling for grade, gender, race/ethnicity, and SES. These findings support the efficacy of multi-level interventions to create effective health behavior change, especially when linkages among community, media, schools, and the home are present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-373
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent health
  • Community health promotion
  • Multi-level interventions
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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