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Published: 2019-06-06

Effect of Psychological Need-Supportive Summer Camp: FIT-Dawg Girls Summer Camp

Department of Kinesiology, College of Education, University of Georgia, 330 River Road, Athens, GA 30602,
Department of Kinesiology, College of Education, University of Georgia, 330 River Road, Athens, GA 30602,
Department of Kinesiology, College of Education, University of Georgia, 330 River Road, Athens, GA 30602
Department of Kinesiology, College of Education, University of Georgia, 330 River Road, Athens, GA 30602
Center for Physical Activity and Health, Department of Kinesiology, College of Education University of Georgia, 330 River Road, Athens, GA 30602
Children's Physical Activity, Fitness, and School Health Promotion, Department of Kinesiology, College of Education, University of Georgia, 330 River Road, Athens, GA 30602
Self-Determination Exercise Female Health Accelerometry


Physical activity (PA) is a major factor related to obesity risk. Research has shown PA interventions among adolescents to be moderately successful in short-term but limited to longer-term. Self-determination theory (SDT) postulates that a psychological need-supportive environment (i.e. one that supports competence, autonomy, and social relatedness) is effective in maintaining volitional motivation which can lead to sustained positive behavioral changes including PA. Although research has supported the central tenets of the SDT, there is limited evidence examining whether a summer camp intervention can sustain improvements in PA motivation and behavior. Thus, this study examined the acute and 12-weeks longer-term effectiveness of a five-day psychological need-support centered summer camp on healthy weight and overweight adolescent girls’ weight management behaviors. A single-group case series study with pre-, post, and 12-week follow-up-test analyses. A sample comprised 42 (Mage = 11.70±1.12) adolescent females. Exercise motivation, PA intention, and PA and dietary behaviors were measured. The findings showed a between-group effect on daily steps (F(1, 19) = 15.83, p = .001,ηp2 = .46), moderate-to-vigorous intensity PA (F(1, 19) = 4.58, p = .046, ηp2 = .19), energy intake (F(1, 19) = 7.23, p = .013, ηp2 = .27), PA intention (F(2, 18) = 6.25, p = .024, ηp2 = .28), intrinsic motivation (F(2, 18) = 6.25, p = .024, ηp2 = .28), and amotivation (F(2, 18) = 16.25, p < .001, ηp2 = .54). A need-supportive summer camp may be especially effective in improving PA motivation and behavior in overweight girls.


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How to Cite

Vishwanathan, M., Manninen, M., Waller, S., Sifre, M., E. Evans, E., & Yli-Piipari, S. (2019). Effect of Psychological Need-Supportive Summer Camp: FIT-Dawg Girls Summer Camp. International Journal of Physical Education, Fitness and Sports, 8(2), 51-63.