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Psychosocial Intervention

On-line version ISSN 2173-4712Print version ISSN 1132-0559


ANNESI, James J. Effects of a standardized curriculum on physical activity and body composition in after-school program participants with BMI scores above the 90th percentile: assessing theory-based predictors. Psychosocial Intervention [online]. 2019, vol.28, n.2, pp.83-90.  Epub Oct 14, 2019. ISSN 2173-4712.

Childhood overweight and obesity is a continued problem. Children above the 90th percentile for BMI are particularly susceptible to cardiovascular health risks. There remains a minimal understanding of theory-based psychological predictors of physical activity and weight change in children. This research incorporated data from a subsample of after-school care enrollees above the 90th BMI percentile (Mage=10.1 years) who participated in either 4-day/week (n = 21) or 3-day/week (n = 24) versions of a 45 min/session, cognitive-behaviorally based physical activity/health behavior-change program over a full school year, or a control condition of usual care (n = 14). For the cognitive-behavioral groups only, significant improvements were found in self-regulation, mood, and physical activity. Their BMI increases of 0.12 and 0.11 kg/m2, respectively, were significantly less than the 0.90 kg/m2 rise expected through maturation. Theory-based regression models uniformly confirmed significant associations of changes in self-regulation and physical activity (R2s = .22–.25). However, within separate analyses, entry of changes in (a) self-efficacy and mood into a multiple regression equation, (b) self-efficacy as a mediator, and (c) mood as a moderator, did not increase predictive accuracies. The significant association of changes in physical activity and BMI was stronger in the heavier children. Findings will be useful for large-scale intervention applications and refinements.

Keywords : Children; Overweight; Obesity; Physical activity; Treatment.

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