Computerized pedagogical agents as an intervention to increase youth self-efficacy for physical activity
Melissa Ann Murray, The Florida State University, United States
Doctor of Philosophy, The Florida State University . Awarded
Physical activity participation rates in the US have been in steady decline for the last 25 years, so much so that 60% of youth ages 9-13 get no physical activity outside of school (Alliance for a Healthier Generation, 2006). This state of inactivity indicates that promoting participation in physical activity at a young age is of importance. Both the Transtheoretical Model and Social Cognitive Theory have been used to design successful activity promotion interventions (Castro, King, & Brassington, 2001; Lippke, Ziegelmann, & Schwarzer, 2005). The present study was designed to assess the potential effectiveness of an intervention using computerized agents on self-efficacy and stage of change for physical activity in a youth sample. Results support the use of computerized human agents for increasing exercise efficacy and health and fitness knowledge. Further research must be conducted to determine gender and ethnic effects of the pedagogical agents. Moreover, long-term studies should be conducted with more substantial measures of physical activity to determine if the interaction with agents produces change in behavior.
Murray, M.A. Computerized pedagogical agents as an intervention to increase youth self-efficacy for physical activity. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, The Florida State University.
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