Goal setting and action planning interventions in youth physical education: An approach to increase self-efficacy


Background: Self-efficacy can impact a child's experience in physical education (PE) and subsequent engagement in physical activity (PA). Incorporating goal setting and action planning into PE may enhance students' self-efficacy for engaging in PA both within and beyond the PE classroom. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a PE teacher led goal setting and action planning intervention to support self-efficacy and PA. Method: Children (N=62; 50% male; Mage =11) from three classrooms (grades 5-7) participated in a 6 week goal setting and action planning intervention led by their teachers. Children completed a series of baseline measures including i) self-efficacy for PA, goal setting and action planning, ii) fitness testing and iii) enjoyment of PA and intentions to engage in future PA within and beyond PE. Baseline data have been collected and are presented. Follow up data are currently being collected. Results: Preliminary analyses explored the relationship between variables at baseline. Significant positive relationships were observed between self-efficacy scores and scores on standard fitness tests such as the beep test (r=0.44, p<.05) and planking time (r=0.38, p<.05). PA self-efficacy was positively correlated with goal setting self-efficacy (r=0.56, p<0.05) and intentions to engage in PA in the next 6 weeks (r=0.53, p<.05). Conclusion: Children with lower self-efficacy performed poorer on fitness tests and had lower intentions to engage in PA. Post intervention results will determine the effectiveness of a goal setting and action planning program to increase self-efficacy, PA intentions, and fitness scores.