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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Environmental resources moderate the relationship between social support and school sports participation among adolescents: a cross-sectional analysis.


Most Americans are not active at recommended levels. Adolescence is a developmental period when physical activity (PA) decreases markedly.

This study investigates whether access to environmental PA resources moderates the relationship between psychosocial resources (social support and perceived competence) and PA among 192 adolescents.

Environmental access to PA resources (determined via GIS-based assessment of the number of gyms, schools, trails, parks and athletic fields within 0.5 miles of each participant's home) moderated the association between social support and PA; among adolescents with high levels of environmental resources, greater social support was associated with students participating in a greater number of sports in school, whereas no such relationship emerged among adolescents with low environmental resources.

PA-promotion interventions should aim to enhance both social and environmental resources; targeting either one alone may be insufficient.

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