Investigation of high school students physical activity stages, decisional balance and perceived barriers in taiwan

Por: Min-hua Chung.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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This study was to investigate the Chinese Taipeiese high school students’ physical activity stages of change, perceived barriers of physical activity and decisional balance. The stages of change model (Transtheoretical model) (Cooney, 1996; Marcus, Rakowski, Rossi, 1992) is the theory background of this study. The model is composed of specific stages of behavior change. Each stage is different in benefits and costs related to physical activity, attitude toward physical activity, and perceived control of physical activity (Jehue, 2000; Marcus & Simkin, 1994).


The participants of this study were 3,025 high school students from nineteen schools around the Chinese Taipei area. Ages were from 16 to 18 years and grades were from 10th to 12th. The questionnaires were administered to the high school students in the required physical education classes. The questionnaires included the stages of change, 16-item decisional balance, and 18-item perceived barriers of physical activity. Descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation, and percentage) and ANOVA were used to summarize the results and analyze research questions. Data analysis was the SPSS 10.0 for Windows. The significant level was set at α = .05.


The most subjects’ physical activity behaviors were in the preparation stage. Seniors were significant different with the juniors and freshmen in the stages of change. The decisional balance was significantly difference between seniors with freshmen. The higher grade had more positive attitude toward physical activity in this study. No significant was found among grades in the perceived barriers of physical activity. It was also increased the perceived barriers of physical activity through of the grades.


Physical activity stages of change were different between Chinese Taipeiese with North American high school students (Cooney, 1996; Nigg, 1996). Chinese Taipeiese high school students were less physical activity than the North American. Shimon (1996) had the same finding of the perceived barriers of physical activity was not significant different among grades. The perceived barriers of physical activity and had more positive attitude toward physical activity were increased through the grades. Does this influence by the difference of educational system or cultural background? We need more studies to clarify it. This study is to provide theoretical base for the physical activity behaviors change in the country and to serve as a frame of reference in designing intervention processes on physical activity behaviors change in high schools.


[1]. Cooney, A. L. (1996). The Transtheoretical model and its application to adolescents’ physical activity behavior. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
[2]. Jehue, D. M. (2000). The effects of a stage-based intervention program on physical activity levels, self-efficacy, perceived barriers, and stages of exercise behavior in high school females. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO.
[3]. Marcus, B. H., Rakowski, W., & Rossi, J. S. (1992). Assessing motivational readiness and decision making for exercise. Health Psychology, 11, 257-261.
[4]. Marcus, B. H. & Simkin, L. R. (1994). The transtheoretical model: Applications to exercise behavior. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 26, 1400-1404.
[5]. Nigg, C. R. (1996). Understanding adolescent exercise behavior: An application if the Transtheoretical model. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.






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