The social ecological model is grounded in the assumption that considering the combination of individual, social, and environmental factors will best explain physical activity (PA) behaviours. The purpose of this preliminary study was to explore relations among personal (gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity), individual (self-efficacy and enjoyment), social (perceived parental support), environmental variables (equipment accessibility and neighbourhood safety) and PA among fourth grade children. Twenty children (boys = 12, girls = 8) were involved in this preliminary study. They completed a battery of questionnaires and wore a triaxial accelerometer (GT3X+, ActiGraph, Pensacola, FL) for 7 consecutive days. One boy was excluded from the analysis because the wear time validation of the accelerometer was not consistent with the data required (at least 10 hours/day, 1 weekend day, 4 weekdays). As outcome it was measured average minutes of moderate to vigorous PA (> 3 METs) per day (MVPA). A positive significant correlation was found between self-efficacy and weekly self-reported PA. No differences were found by gender on MVPA, individual, social and environmental variables. Self-efficacy and enjoyment values were significantly higher(p < .05) among children who perceived that their mother often did PA. MVPA was significantly higher for children with non Italian parents’ ethnicity. Investigation will be further carried out involving a more numerous group and parental data.
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