A biocultural model of maturity-associated variance in adolescent physical activity

Sean P Cumming, L B Sherar, D M Pindus, M J Coelho-e-Silva, R M Malina, P R Jardine

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A model for adolescent involvement in physical activity(PA) that incorporates individual differences in biological maturation is presented. The biocultural model of maturity-associated variance in physical activity recognizes PA as a complex and multifaceted behaviour that exists in multiple contexts(e.g., transport, vocation, sport, exercise) and can be viewed from multiple perspectives(e.g., energy expenditure, movement counts, performance outcomes, fitness). The model holds that biological maturation can exert both direct and indirect effects on PA during adolescence. Direct effects imply a direct and unmediated effect of individual differences in maturation on PA. Indirect effects imply influences of individual differences in maturation on PA that are mediated by psychological constructs(e.g., self-perceptions, beliefs) and/or are moderated by exogenous factors(e.g., social interaction, culture) associated with pubertal maturation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-43
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012



  • individual differences
  • maturation
  • body size
  • puberty
  • growth

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