Background: Using a Biocultural Model of Maturity-Associated Variance in physical activity (PA) as a conceptual framework, the main and interactive effects of biological maturity status and perceived peer acceptance on PA and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in adolescent girls were examined.
Methods: Three hundred forty-two female British students in years 7 to 9 (13.2 ± 0.83 years) participated in the study. All participants completed the PA Questionnaire for Adolescents and KIDSCREEN-10, a measure of HRQoL. Self-reported perceptions of peer acceptance were measured by items from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Maturity status was estimated as the percentage of predicted adult (mature) height attained at the time of observation.
Results: Analysis of covariance suggested an influence of peer acceptance on maturity-associated differences in PA, but not on HRQoL. Girls early and “on time” in maturation with higher perceptions of peer acceptance reported greater involvement in PA than girls early and “on time” in maturation with lower perceptions of peer acceptance. A reverse association was observed for late-maturing girls.
Conclusions: Peer acceptance is an important moderator of maturity-associated variation in PA.
- Adolescent girls
- Biological maturation
- Health-related quality of life
- Physical activity