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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 536904, 9 pages
Research Article

Using Theory of Planned Behavior to Predict the Physical Activity of Children: Probing Gender Differences

Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200441, China

Received 8 August 2015; Revised 15 September 2015; Accepted 19 October 2015

Academic Editor: Peter Krustrup

Copyright © 2015 Lijuan Wang and Lin Wang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. The primary objective of this study was to use the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to examine the association between TPB variables and the moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) of children in Shanghai, China. Gender differences were also explored. Methods. The participants were 353 children (180 boys and 173 girls) aged 9 to 13 years from three primary schools in Shanghai. Accelerometers were used to measure the MVPA duration of the children. Questionnaires that focused on attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control (PBC) related to MVPA engagement were completed by the participants. Results. Regression analyses revealed that intention, and not PBC, accounted for 9% of the variance in MVPA. Meanwhile, attitude and PBC explained 33% of the variance in intentions to engage in MVPA. In terms of gender differences, TPB performed better in the physical activity (PA) domain for boys than for girls. Furthermore, attitude and PBC were significantly associated with intention among boys, whereas only PBC was significantly related to intention among girls. Conclusion. Practitioners should consider tailoring intervention to address gender differences to increase leisure-time PA participation of children.