Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > A Review of Factors Influencing Participation in Physical Activities and Use of a Dance Simulation Video Game Among a Cohort of 7-8 Year Old North Carolinian Children

The epidemic of pediatric obesity stems from multiple factors, including decreased participation in physical activities. Despite national health agendas and prevention goals for recommended amounts of physical activity, few North Carolinian youth meet these requirements. A number of reviews examining obesity prevention programs have also investigated the initial and sustained effort in physical activity and have found that opportunities for fun, economical and easily accessible modes of physical activity are limited, particularly in the home environment. Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) is a popular dance simulation video game. Numerous subjective reports indicate that DDR is a viable option for addressing concerns of pediatric obesity through promotion of physical activity. However, objective evidence for DDR is limited, particularly in determining how to most effectively promote DDR. Using an adaptation of the Predisposing, Reinforcing, and Enabling Constructs in Educational Diagnosis and Evaluation planning model, this dissertation focused on the potential role of various constructs to promote participation in general physical activity and DDR for 7-8 year old North Carolinian children. The first manuscript describes associations between predisposing factors of children's prior exposure to physical activity and self perception in physical competence with participation in physical activity and DDR. The second manuscript presents associations between general parental support (i.e., participation, encouragement, enjoyment, and transportation) and DDR-specific environmental support (i.e., size of television, other videogames, and DDR participation by others) as reinforcing factors for participation in physical activity and DDR. The third manuscript describes the development of a motor learning-based DDR coaching protocol and the association between this enabling factor with participation in physical activity and DDR. The combined results of these manuscripts indicate that first, previous physical activity exposure influences participation in vigorous physical activity, and second, that presence of other videogames and DDR participation of others influences participation in DDR. None of the other factors significantly influenced participation in moderate or vigorous physical activity or DDR. These findings warrant further investigation to understand the role of potential constructs that may act to influence initial and sustained participation in physical activity and DDR.