Predictors of Physical Activity among Adolescent Girl Students Based on the Social Cognitive Theory

Monasadat Ardestani, Shamsaddin Niknami, Alireza Hidarnia, Ebrahim Hajizadeh


Background: The importance of increasing adolescence girl’s level of physical activity is recognized as a priority for having a healthy lifestyle. However, adolescent girls especially Iranian, are at high risk for physical inactivity. Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) is a successful theory to explain physical activity behavior. The aim of this study was to determine the predictors of physical activity based on the SCT.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 400 adolescent girls (15-16 yr old) in Tehran, Iran (2013). The participants were randomly chosen with multistage sampling. The SCT constructs consisted of self-efficacy, self-regulation, social support, outcome expectancy, and self-efficacy to overcoming impediments. Statistical analysis was carried out applying SPSS: 16, LISREL 8.8. Stepwise regression was used to test predictors of behavior. Pearson correlation was assessed.

Results: Self efficacy to overcoming impediments was the main construct to predict physical activity (Beta=0.37). Other determinants were self-efficacy (Beta=0.29), family support (beta=0.14), outcome expectancy (beta=0.13), friend support (beta=0.12), and self-regulation (beta=0.11), respectively. In general, the SCT questionnaire determined 0.85 variation of physical activity behavior. All of the constructs had direct significant relation to physical activity behavior (P<0.001).

Conclusions: The constructs of SCT provide a suitable framework to perform promoting physical activity programs and self-efficacy to overcoming impediments and self-efficacy are the best predictors of physical activity in adolescent girls.


Physical activity; Students; Regression analysis

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