Introduction: An individual's perceived competence in physical activities (PCPA) has been proven a powerful predictor for future physical activity. However, the perception of one¥s competence may differ over time, especially during childhood and adolescence but also between types of physical activities or tasks. Further, the predictors for PCPA are largely unknown, but overweight status and gross motor skills have been proposed as candidates. We sought to identify predictors for general PCPA in Swedish adolescents, and PCPA in three highly prevalent forms of physical activities in Swedish physical education (PE), namely swimming, aerobics and soccer.
Methods: Body mass index-based overweight status (normal weight vs overweight/obese, according to Cole et al.) and gross motor skills (based on the TidÈn-Nyberg test) were measured in 352 Swedish children (160 girls and 192 boys) at baseline (age 10). Immigration status (self-report) and average community household income level (quartiles, register obtained) at 10 yrs were used as possible socio-cultural confounders. Data on educational status of the PE teacher responsible for education at age 10 yrs was obtained by self-report from the teachers. Self reported data on general PCPA and PCPA in soccer, swimming and aerobics at 16 yrs was obtained at follow-up and predictors for PCPA was identified using logistic regression.
Results: Being overweight or obese (OR: 2.27, 95% CI: 1.18–4.38) and attending PE classes with unqualified teachers (OR: 2.41, 95% CI: 1.36–4.27) at age 10 yrs were both risk factors for low general PCPA a age 16 yrs. Concerning the selected activities, being overweight or obese at age 10 yrs predicted low PCPA in swimming (OR: 2.67, 95% CI:1.31–5.46) but not in the other activities at age 16 yrs. Poor gross motor skills at age 10 yrs predicted low PCPA at 16 yrs only in soccer (OR:1.48, 95% CI: 1.02–2.13). Female gender (OR: 0.21, 95% CI: 0.13–0.38), and higher socioeconomic status (OR: 0.71 per quartile, 95% CI: 0.55–0.92)at age 10 yrs were both found to be associated to lower risk for low PCPA in aerobics.
Discussion: Overweight status and educational status of the PE teacher both affect the risk of having low general PCPA. The effect of gender, overweight status, gross motor skill and socio-economy seem to differ between specific activities, indicating that PCPA may be task specific in adolescents. These results may serve as background when planning physical activity interventions. Further, they stress the need for professional PE teachers to teach in younger classes.
2012. Vol. 15, no Supplement 1, S113- p.
Be Active 2012. Sydney, Australia