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Arnold School of Public Health

Transitions and Activity Changes in Kids (TRACK)


The study proposes to examine the factors that influence change in physical activity in boys and girls as they transition from elementary to middle school. The proposed study will be unique in applying state-of-the-art measures and multi-level modeling strategies in examining the mechanisms that underlie change in physical activity during the transition from childhood to adolescence. The study's findings will markedly expand the body of knowledge regarding the influences on development of physical activity behavior in youth. The major objectives of the study are:

To determine the influences of personal social-cognitive, family, neighborhood, school, and community factors on changes in physical activity in African American and white boys and girls as they transition from elementary to middle school.
To examine the effects of gender, race and neighborhood environment on factors influencing changes in physical activity as African American and white children transition from elementary to middle school.


Recruitment began in the fall of 2010. Over 1100 5th graders were recruited to participate in the study. Each participant will complete all measures each year of the study, during their 5th grade, 6th grade and 7th grade years.

Project Details

Timeline: 2008 - 2012
Funding Source: NIH
Principal Investigator: Russell R. Pate
Co-Investigator(s): Ruth Saunders, Cheryl Addy, Rod Dishman, Natalie Colabianchi, Lyndie Carney-Forthofer, Dwayne Porter



Taverno Ross SE, Byun W, Dowda M, McIver KL, Saunders RP, Pate RR. Sedentary behaviors in fifth-grade boys and girls: where, with whom, and why?. Childhood Obesity. 2013 Dec 1;9(6):532-9.[pdf]

Dishman RK, Saunders RP, McIver KL, Dowda M, Pate RR. Construct validity of selected measures of physical activity beliefs and motives in fifth and sixth grade boys and girls. Journal of pediatric psychology. 2013 Mar 4;38(5):563-76.[pdf]

Ross ST, Dowda M, Colabianchi N, Saunders R, Pate RR. After-school setting, physical activity, and sedentary behavior in 5th grade boys and girls. Health & place. 2012 Sep 1;18(5):951-5.[pdf]

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