Faculty of Social Sciences
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Spruijtenburg, Gwennyth

TRansition Into Active Living (TRIAL): Transitions in children going from primary to secondary education

The transition of children from primary to secondary education is a major life transition as it is accompanied by a new school environment with new responsibilities (such as an increase in homework), and a changing social network of friends, classmates, and teachers. This life transition has a major impact on children's active behaviour. It has been shown to lead to a drop in physical activity levels. In this project, we first aim to identify stimulants and hindrances of becoming, being and staying active throughout the transition to secondary education. Subsequently, we will use these insights to develop interventions aimed at stimulating physical activity and preventing drop-out in this transition.

Next to individual and contextual factors, we will explicitly focus on the social network surrounding the child (e.g. family, friends, school environment, neighbourhood) as a crucial factor for sustained active living. Existing scientific studies tend to ignore the strength of the context, and focus only on individual factors contributing to the behavioural change. However, it has been shown that the (direct) surrounding significantly impacts changes in behaviour. We therefore hypothesize that a child’s social network contacts may encourage, but also discourage sport participation and being physically active.

Prof. Dr. Bert Steenbergen, Prof. dr. Gerbert Kraaykamp, Dr. Femke van Abswoude