Acitelli, Rachelle Maria
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Background: Community-based interventions targeting both increased physical activity (PA) and improved diet quality (DQ) are needed in the middle school girl population, and self-efficacy, a primary construct of Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), predicts PA in this group. Primary Aims: 1) Examine changes in both objectively measured moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) and DQ, and 2) Explore relationships between changes in PA self-efficacy and changes in PA. Methods: Girls (n = 56; 11.6 + 1.0 years) attended a 5-day summer camp framed in both SCT and the Simple 7 for Kids and were then cluster-randomized into 1 of 3 groups for the fall semester: 1) Social Media (SM) [n = 27]: 3 group meetings, 5 Facebook contacts weekly, JawBone up worn daily, testing visits; 2) Control (CON) [n = 22]: testing visits only; 3) Modified Control (CON-MOD) [n = 7]: JawBone up worn daily, testing visits. Data were collected assessing: A) PA via accelerometry, B) DQ via dietary recall, and C) psychosocial outcomes. Results for Aim 1: In Phase 1, no acute change in MVPA occurred (p > 0.05), with 34.7% increasing and 65.3% decreasing MVPA after camp. Energy intake, consumption of added sugars and refined grain intake all decreased (10.9%, 17.1%, and 16.4%, respectively; all p < 0.05). Phase 2 revealed no Group by Time or main effects of Group or Time for MVPA (all p > 0.05). For added sugars, there were no Group by Time or Group effects; but, there was a main effect of Time with added sugar intake increasing over the fall term (p = 0.04). Results for Aim 2: Phase 1 revealed no changes in PA or PA self-efficacy (both p > 0.05); but, change in PA self-efficacy was associated with change in PA (r = 0.27; p = 0.06). In Phase 1, outcome expectancy-value decreased by 22.8% and self-management increased by 6% (both p < 0.05). Phase 2 showed no significant Group by Time or Group effects for psychosocial outcomes (all p < 0.05). Conclusion: Although it remains challenging to improve PA and DQ behaviors in middle school girls, novel community-based interventions are warranted.