The health benefits of exercise in school are recognised, yet physical activity continues to decline during early adolescence despite numerous interventions. In this study we investigated whether the Prototype Willingness Model, an account of adolescent decision-making that includes both reasoned behavioural choices and unplanned responses to social environments, might improve understanding of physical activity in school. We conducted focus groups with British pupils aged 12-13 and used deductive thematic analysis to search for themes relating to the model. Participants described reasoned decisions about physical activity outside school and unplanned choices to be inactive during break, in response to social contexts described as more ‘judgmental’ than in primary school. Social contexts appeared characterised by anxiety about competence, negative peer evaluation and inactive playground norms. The Prototype Willingness Model might more fully explain physical activity in school than reasoned behavioural models alone, indicating potential for interventions targeting anxieties about playground social environments.
Wheatley, Catherine M.Davies, Emma L.Dawes, Helen
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Sport and Health SciencesFaculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health
Year of publication: 2017Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-11-06
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