Background: This study aimed to examine the effect of a 9-week SPARK program on physical activity (PA), cardiorespiratory endurance (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run; PACER), and motivation in middle-school students. Methods: 174 students attended baseline and posttests and change scores computed for each outcome. A MANOVA was employed to examine change score differences using follow-up ANOVA and Bonferroni post hoc tests. Results: MANOVA yielded a significant interaction for Grade × Gender × Group (Wilks's Λ=0.89, P <.001). ANOVA for PA revealed significant differences between SPARK grades 6 and 7 (Mean Δ=8.11, P <.01) and Traditional grades 6 and 8 (Mean Δ=-6.96, P <.01). ANOVA also revealed greater PACER change for Traditional boys in grade 8 (P <.01) and SPARK girls in grade 8 (P <.01). There were significant interactions with perceived competence differences between SPARK grades 6 and 8 (Mean Δ=0.38, P <.05), Enjoyment differences between SPARK grades 6 and 7 (Mean Δ=0.67, P <.001), and SPARK grades 6 and 8 (Mean Δ=0.81, P <.001). Conclusions: Following the intervention, SPARK displayed greater increases on PA and motivation measures in younger students compared with the Traditional program.
- Health-related physical fitness
- Physical education