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Contextual influences on the within-person association between physical activity and affect in adolescents: an ecological momentary assessment study

Abstract

There is limited research on how the context in which moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) occurs influences the relationship between physical activity and affect. This study aimed to investigate how the social context and physical environment enhance the relationship between MVPA and affect in daily life. Overall, 119 adolescents (mean age = 14.7 years) provided information about their core affect, physical environment and social context on multiple occasions over a 4-day period using ecological momentary assessment. Additionally, participants’ level of MVPA was objectively measured using accelerometers. Level of MVPA was positively associated with energetic arousal, being outdoors was positively associated with valence and energetic arousal, and being with someone else was also positively associated with energetic arousal. Additionally, being outdoors moderated the association between MVPA and tense arousal so that MVPA was only inversely related to tense arousal when outdoors. These findings showed that young people experience more positive valence, greater levels of energetic arousal and less tense arousal when physically active outdoors compared to when indoors and highlight the importance of encouraging young people to participate in physical activity outdoors. Further research is warranted to understand how social contexts may influence the association between MVPA and affect in young people.

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Funding

This research is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship.

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Authors

Contributions

MB, TAH, and MC contributed to the conception and design of the study. Data collection and analysis was performed by MB. MB interpreted the results and wrote the initial draft of the manuscript. TAH and MC critically reviewed and edited the initial draft. All authors read and approved the submitted version.

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Correspondence to Matthew Bourke or Melinda Craike.

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Matthew Bourke author declare no conflict of interest. Toni A. Hiland author declare no conflict of interest. Melinda Craike author declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This study was conducted in accordance with the Australian National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Participant′s parent/guardian provided written informed consent and participants provided written infromed assesnt to participate in this study.

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This study was approved by the Victoria University Human Research Ethics Committe (HRE18-224).

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Bourke, M., Hilland, T.A. & Craike, M. Contextual influences on the within-person association between physical activity and affect in adolescents: an ecological momentary assessment study. J Behav Med 44, 296–309 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-020-00197-4

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Keywords

  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Affect
  • Physical activity
  • Accelerometry
  • Adolescent
  • Context