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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The role of relational efficacy beliefs on adolescent's leisure time physical activity Wilson, Alexandra Harris


Parents are critical social determinants of the health-related behaviours of adolescents. The foundation that parents provide for a healthy lifestyle is particularly important as those lifestyle choices (e.g., physical activity) become under self-regulatory control during adolescence. The overall purpose of this study was to apply the tripartite model of relational efficacy (Lent & Lopez, 2002) to better understand the extent to which adolescents’ (aged 11-13) perceptions of the family environment predict adolescent leisure time physical activity. Specifically, this study examined how adolescents’ confidence in their parents’ (other-efficacy), adolescents estimation of their parents’ confidence in them (relation-inferred self-efficacy), and adolescents outcome expectations associated with physical activity involvement predict their subsequent involvement in physical activity during their leisure time. Four hundred and two grade 7 students from the Lower Mainland of British Columbia completed a questionnaire at two time points (April and June 2012) to assess the above variables. It was hypothesized that there would be a positive relationship between adolescents’ relational efficacy beliefs towards their parents with leisure time physical activity among adolescents. Structural equation modeling was used to examine model fit to test the different study hypotheses. Results revealed a just identified model that demonstrated that adolescents’ confidence in their fathers’ ability to help them be active was predictive of leisure time physical activity. The results from this research provide greater insights into the predictive effects of parents in relation to young adolescents at a time when physical activity becomes increasingly under voluntary control.

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