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The purpose of our study was to evaluate the ability of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to predict African American children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and cardiorespiratory fitness. Children (N = 548, ages 9–12) completed questionnaires assessing the TPB constructs and MVPA and then had their cardiorespiratory fitness assessed with the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) test. Commonly used Structural Equation Modeling fit indices suggested the model was an adequate representation for the relationships within the data. However, results also suggested an extended model which was examined and supported. Tests of direct paths from subjective norm and control to intention indicated that both variables were significant predictors of intention. Furthermore, the impact of attitude on intention was mediated by both subjective norm and control. Finally MVPA predicted cardiorespiratory fitness. Most of the standardized path coefficients fell in the small to moderate range, with the strongest effects evident for the predictors of intention and the smallest effect evident for the link from MVPA to cardiorespiratory fitness.


Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Education | Health Psychology | Kinesiology | Sports Sciences | Sports Studies