The role of psychosocial correlates in the relationship between biological maturation and physical activity among Korean adolescent girls


Objectives. To examine whether body fatness (i.e., body mass index and % body fat) and psychosocial correlates of physical activity (PA) mediate the relationships between biological maturation and PA and sedentary behaviour among Korean adolescent girls. Methods. Pubertal status, body fatness, sport competence, perceived barriers to PA, parental support, self-efficacy, PA, and sedentary behaviour were assessed among 236 Korean adolescent girls (mean age = 13.56 ± .08 years). Results. A direct association was identified in all models between pubertal status and PA; more advanced pubertal status predicted lower PA among Korean adolescents (b = -.51 ~ -.57; p < .000). Indirect effects on the pubertal timing-PA relationship were also found; body fatness, perceived barriers to PA, paternal and maternal support, and self-efficacy mediated the relationship between pubertal timing and PA. No relationship was found between pubertal timing and sedentary behaviour. Conclusion. This study found direct effects of body fatness, and psychosocial correlates of PA on the relationship between pubertal status and PA among Korean adolescent girls. These results build on the current existing literature pertaining to the possible pathways between biological maturation and PA among adolescent girls.