This longitudinal study investigated the influence of maturation on physical self-perceptions and the relationship with physical activity in early adolescent girls (N = 150; mean age = 12.79 0.31). Physical characteristics were measured and participants completed the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children, the Children and Youth Physical Self-Perception Profile and the Pubertal Development Scale on two occasions 12 months apart. The results demonstrated a decrease in overall physical activity levels over 12 months which was not influenced by maturational status or physical characteristics. Additional analysis indicated that physical self-perceptions partially accounted for the explained variance in physical activity change, with physical condition being an important individual predictor of physical activity. Further analysis indicated that body mass was an important individual predictor of changes in perceptions of body attractiveness and physical self-worth. At this age maturation has a limited influence on the physical activity behaviours of early adolescent girls and although the variance in physical activity was partly accounted for by physical self-perceptions, this was a relatively small contribution and other factors related to this drop in physical activity need to be considered longitudinally.
- physical activity
- physical self-perceptions