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Arnold School of Public Health

Transitions and Activity Changes in Kids 2 (TRACK 2)


TRACK 2 continues the work in the cohort established in the TRACK project which examined the factors that explain the changes in objectively-measured physical activity as children transition from elementary to middle school. TRACK 2 is following the cohort into high school and is currently measuring participants again as 9th and 11th graders.

A major goal of TRACK 2 is to inform future interventions to increase physical activity in youth by identify factors that explain changes in physical activity behavior among children transition from elementary school through middle school and into high school. A second goal is to expend the body of knowledge regarding the relationship between physical activity and other important health indicators, such as body fatness, during childhood and adolescence.

The following specific aims are currently being addressed:

  • Aim 1 – To identify personal, social environmental and physical environmental factors that influence the age-related trajectory for physical activity in youth as they transition from elementary school to high school.
  • Aim 2 – To describe the longitudinal associations among physical activity, sedentary behavior and measures of body weight status in youth as they transition from elementary school to high school.
  • Aim 3 – To describe the relationship between physical activity, observed longitudinally during childhood and adolescence, and selected health indicators in high school students.

Project Details

Timeline: 2014 - 2017
Funding Source: NHLBI
Principal Investigator: Russell R. Pate
Co-Investigator(s): Chery Addy, Ruth Saunders, Dwayne Porter, Melinda Forthofer, Daheia Barr-Anderson, Marsha Dowda, Kerry McIver


Taverno Ross SE, Militello G, Dowda M, Pate RR. Changes in diet quality in youth living in south carolina from fifth to eleventh grade. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.2020 Apr;52(10);928-934.

Ross SE, Militello G, Dowda M,  Pate, RR. Changes in Diet Quality in Youth Living in South Carolina From Fifth to 11th Grade. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2020 April. [pdf]

Dishman RK, McIver KL, Dowda M, Pate RR. Declining Physical Activity and Motivation from Middle School to High School. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2018 Jun;50(6):1206-15.[pdf]

Ross SE, Clennin MN, Dowda M, Colabianchi N, Pate RR. Stepping It Up: Walking Behaviors in Children Transitioning from 5th to 7th Grade. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2018 Feb 3;15(2):262.[pdf]

Saunders RP, Dowda M, Mciver K, McDonald SM, Pate RR. Physical and social contexts of physical activity behaviors of fifth and seventh grade youth. Journal of school health. 2018 Feb;88(2):122-31.[pdf]

Forthofer M, Dowda M, O’Neill JR, Addy CL, McDonald S, Reid L, Pate RR. Effect of Child Gender and Psychosocial Factors on Physical Activity From Fifth to Sixth Grade. Journal of physical activity and health. 2017 Dec 1;14(12):953-8.[pdf]

Barr-Anderson DJ, Flynn JI, Dowda M, Ross SE, Schenkelberg MA, Reid LA, Pate RR. The modifying effects of race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status on the change in physical activity from elementary to middle school. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2017 Nov 1;61(5):562-70.[pdf]

Lau EY, Dowda M, McIver KL, Pate RR. Changes in physical activity in the school, afterschool, and evening periods during the transition from elementary to middle school. Journal of School Health. 2017 Jul;87(7):531-7.[pdf]

Dishman RK, Dowda M, McIver KL, Saunders RP, Pate RR. Naturally-occurring changes in social-cognitive factors modify change in physical activity during early adolescence. PloS one. 2017 Feb 10;12(2):e0172040.[pdf]

Dowda M, Taverno Ross SE, McIver KL, Dishman RK, Pate RR. Physical activity and changes in adiposity in the transition from elementary to middle school. Childhood Obesity. 2017 Feb 1;13(1):53-62.[pdf]

Colabianchi N, Griffin JL, McIver KL, Dowda M, Pate RR. Where are children active and does it matter for physical activity? A latent transition analysis. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 2016 Dec;13(12):1294-300.[pdf]

Ross T, Sharon E, Dowda M, Dishman RK, Pate RR. Classes of physical activity and sedentary behavior in 5th grade children. American journal of health behavior. 2016 May 1;40(3):352-61.[pdf]

Forthofer M, Dowda M, McIver K, Barr-Anderson DJ, Pate R. Associations between maternal support and physical activity among 5th grade students. Maternal and child health journal. 2016 Mar 1;20(3):720-9.[pdf]

Dishman RK, McIver KL, Dowda M, Saunders RP, Pate RR. Motivation and behavioral regulation of physical activity in middle-school students. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2015 Sep;47(9):1913.[pdf]

McDonald S, Dowda M, Colabianchi N, Porter D, Dishman RK, Pate RR. Perceptions of the neighborhood environment and children’s afterschool moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Pediatric exercise science. 2015 May;27(2):243-51.[pdf]

Lau EY, Barr-Anderson DJ, Dowda M, Forthofer M, Saunders RP, Pate RR. Associations between home environment and after-school physical activity and sedentary time among 6th grade children. Pediatric exercise science. 2015 May;27(2):226-33.[pdf]

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