Date of Award/Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Advanced Practice Nursing

First Supervisor

Pamela L. Mapstone


Background: Obesity is a nationwide public health problem. During adolescence, individuals develop distinctive lifestyles which influence their personal habits and overall health. Adolescents, therefore, are an integral group to target to modify the decreasing activity levels observed during that period of life. Health education programs and national initiatives have been developed to change these alarming trends, but adolescents have been show to decrease their physical activity level despite having gained knowledge on the risks of obesity. Adolescents, therefore, are an important group to target to try to alter this tendency so that they develop healthier lifestyles and offset obesity related comorbidities later in life. Development of these programs alone will not be successful unless changes are made and adolescents are motivated to participate. Purpose: The purpose of this project was to assess and compare student beliefs about physical activity related to the prevention of obesity during preadolescence and adolescence. This information could be used to guide health curriculums in middle schools to improve levels of activity and overall health of preadolescent and adolescent students. Conclusion: The data obtained in this project suggests that there are differences in how adolescents at two stages perceive the importance of physical activity and how willing they are to make changes in their lifestyles to be more physically active. Although the sample size was small, this data provides relevant information on which future studies can be based.

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