Characteristics of Youth Who Participated in the VERB Summer Scorecard Physical Activity Promotion Program

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Background: Tailored school-based and community-based physical activity programs can be informed by audience segmentation analysis to identify those portions (or sub-groups) of the population who are most likely to participate in programs. A Kentucky-based community coalition designed and pilot-tested a physical activity program, VERBTM Summer Scorecard (VSS), leveraging the brand equity of the CDC's national VERBTM It's What You Do!campaign, and a school-community partnership. Key elements of VSS subsequently were adopted in Sarasota County, Florida.

Purpose: This study identified characteristics of youth who did/did not participate in Sarasota's adaptation of VSS. SIGNIFICANCE: In 2009, only 18.4% of adolescents met the physical activity guideline for 60 minutes of daily aerobic activity.

Methods: Students in grades 5-8 from six randomly selected public schools completed a survey assessing VSS participation, physical activity level, psychosocial variables, parental support for physical activity, and demographics.

Findings: Logistic regression showed that VSS participants were more likely to be younger, i.e., from grades 5-6 than grades 7-8 (OR=6.055), and perceive high versus low parental support for physical activity (OR=4.627). Moreover, for each unit rise in self-efficacy, the odds of VSS participation rose by 1.839. CHAID analysis suggested an interaction effect between grade and school SES, with a large proportion of grade 7 and 8 youth from high SES schools being non-participants (76.6%).

Conclusions: A VSS-style program can be expected to have more effective uptake with youth who are younger, with high self-efficacy and high parental support for physical activity, and who are from middle-SES schools.


American Public Health Association Annual Meeting (APHA)


Washington, D.C.