Predictors of Physical Activity in Positive Deviant Adolescents

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The purpose of this analysis was to examine the predictors of PA in positive deviant adolescents in comparison to average or underachieving adolescents on the same criterion.

Design and Methods:

A survey of Canadian adolescents aged 13–20 (N = 603), based on a multidimensional wellness model and an ecological model, provided the data for a multiple regression analysis to identify predictors of PA in positive deviant adolescents defined as having higher than average levels of PA.


Significant predictors of PA for positive deviant girls were recreational time, an increased sense of wellness, age, and family support (explaining 47.7% of variance for girls). Within the positive deviant group, older girls were less active than younger girls. For positive deviant boys, use of recreational time was the only significant predictor of PA (explaining 5.9% of the variance).


Wellness as a significant predictor of PA in positive deviant adolescent girls is a new and unique finding. The measurement of wellness in this study was a composite score of the physical, social, and psychological developmental dimensions of adolescent lives.

Practice Implications:

Pediatric nurses may wish to consider a multidimensional wellness approach, family support, and recreation time as major foci of PA interventions in adolescents.

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