Improving physical self-perception in adolescent boys from disadvantaged schools: psychological outcomes from the Physical Activity Leaders randomized controlled trial

Pediatr Obes. 2012 Jun;7(3):e27-32. doi: 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2012.00050.x. Epub 2012 Apr 10.


Objectives: To evaluate the effect of a school-based obesity prevention programme on physical self-perception and key physical-activity related cognitions in adolescent boys from disadvantaged secondary schools. A secondary objective was to determine if any psychological changes were associated with improved weight status.

Methods: Participants (n = 100, age = 14.3[0.6]) were randomized to the PALS (Physical Activity Leaders) intervention (n = 50) or a control group (n = 50) and assessed at baseline, 3- and 6-month follow up. Measures included BMI, BMI z-score and % body fat (bioelectrical impedance analysis). Students also completed the Children's Physical Self-Perception Profile and a physical activity-related cognitions questionnaire. The findings include secondary data analyses.

Results: Relative to the controls, the PALS group significantly increased their physical self worth (p = .01), perceived physical condition (p = .02), resistance training self efficacy (p < .001) and their use of physical activity behavioural strategies (p = .02).

Conclusions: A school-based obesity prevention programme that targeted leadership skills improved psychological health in the physical domain in adolescent boys from disadvantaged schools.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Age Factors
  • Body Image
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cognition
  • Electric Impedance
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • New South Wales
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Poverty*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Resistance Training
  • School Health Services*
  • Self Concept*
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vulnerable Populations*
  • Weight Loss