Adolescent Girls' Perceptions of Physical Activity and Health

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Title: Adolescent Girls' Perceptions of Physical Activity and Health
Author: Witmer, Larissa Kathryn
Advisors: Jason Bocarro, Committee Chair
Karla Henderson, Committee Member
Myron Floyd, Committee Member
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine middle school females' perceptions of physical activity, eating, and physical health. This research considers several key issues, including high obesity rates, girls' lack of physical activity, the decrease in physical activity during adolescence, and teenagers' failure to meet nutritional guidelines. A qualitative approach was selected to gain a deeper understanding of the significance girls place on these health behaviors and some of the factors that go into their decisions about leisure time activity and eating. Four focus groups were conducted in central North Carolina with a total of 28 girls in sixth through eighth grades. Data were analyzed with ATLAS.ti 5.2. Four themes emerged from the analysis: perceptions of health, social norms, family, and enjoyment. Recommendations are given for ways to encourage healthy diets and PA participation in adolescent girls.
Date: 2009-07-28
Degree: MS
Discipline: Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

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