213919 Girls on the Run: Evaluation of a developmentally-focused youth sport program designed for 3rd-5th grade girls

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kelley Pettee Gabriel, PhD , University of Nebraska Medical Center, Assistant Professor, Omaha, NE
Rita DeBate, PhD, MPH, CHES , Center for Transdisciplinary Research on Women's Health, Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Robin High, MBA , Department of Biostatistics, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Elizabeth Racine, DrPH, RD , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
Background:Developmentally focused youth sport (DYS) programs combine sport and life skills as an avenue for providing youth with opportunities for psychological, physical, and social development. Few rigorously evaluated DYS programs are available for late elementary school girls. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of on the Girls on the Run program on psychological and physical assets among 3rd-5th grade girls. Methods: A longitudinal quasi-experimental study was conducted to evaluate intervention effects among 877 participants categorized into one of three groups (never, newly, and previously exposed). A 64-item self-report survey measured participant psychological and physical assets at three time-points. Nested random effects ANOVA models were used to compare demographic factors and psychological and physical assets between exposure groups and to compare longitudinal differences in these developmental assets. Results: After adjustment for multiple comparisons, previous program participants had significantly higher physical activity commitment (p<.01) and physical activity levels (p<.05) at pre-intervention than never exposed. From pre- to post-intervention body image improved in never and newly exposed participants, which persisted through follow-up in the comparison group. Physical activity increased from pre-intervention to follow-up among never and newly exposed participants (all p<.05). Conclusion:The results of the current study provide new evidence to support the effectiveness of an innovative DYS program designed for 3rd-5th grade girls.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe purpose and content of developmentally focused youth sport (DYS) programs. 2. Describe components of the Girls on the Run DYS program designed for 3rd-5th graders. 3. Discuss the psychological and physical developmental outcomes of the Girls on the Run intervention.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a physical activity epidemiologist who has numerous publications on physical activity. I was also a Co-I of the study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.