OJPM  Vol.3 No.1 , February 2013
Mediation effects of social support on relationships of perceived environment and self-efficacy with school-based physical activity: A structural equation model tailored for Japanese adolescent girls
ABSTRACT
Background: Identifying correlates of physical activity that can be targeted as potential mediators is important for developing interventions to promote physical activity in adolescent girls. However, the mediated effects of multilevel correlates of physical activity remain poorly understood. Therefore, the present study aimed to examine direct and mediated effects of personal, social and perceived school physical environmental factors on school-based physical activity of Japanese adolescent girls. Methods: In this cross-sectional survey of the Japanese adolescent life s, 344 junior high school girls were invited to complete self-report measures of age, grade, weight, height, self-efficacy, social support (family, friends and teachers), perceived school physical environment (equipment, facilities and safety) and physical activity at school (min per week during lunch time and after- school hours). Structural equation modeling analysis controlling for age was performed to examine the effects of body mass index (BMI), self-efficacy, social support and school physical environmental variables on lunchtime and after-hours physical activity. Results: The final structural model demonstrated an acceptable fit for each context-specific physical activity. During lunch recess, perceived equipment and friend support exhibited direct effects on physical activity; perceived facilities, safety, and self-efficacy were indirectly associated with physical activity through friend support. During after-school hours, both family and friend support directly affected physical activity at school; perceived safety, facilities and self-efficacy exhibited indirect effects on physical activity through family or friend support. However, there were no significant associations between equipment and after-school-hours physical activity. Regardless of contexts, BMI had neither direct nor indirect effects on physical activity. Conclusion: Social support from family and friends was identified as factors mediating the effects of perceived environment and self-efficacy on school-based physical activity among Japanese adolescent girls. This finding encourages the future development of effective interventions to promote physical activity through family and friend support in the future.

Cite this paper
He, L. , Ishii, K. , Shibata, A. , Adachi, M. , Nonoue, K. and Oka, K. (2013) Mediation effects of social support on relationships of perceived environment and self-efficacy with school-based physical activity: A structural equation model tailored for Japanese adolescent girls. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, 42-50. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.31006.
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