Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)


Social & General Studies

First Advisor

Con Burns


Objectives; To evaluate the Active8 intervention which aimed to increase physical activity participation and knowledge among teenage girls aged 11-14 years.

Design; School based trial conducted from February- May 2010, in the Glen Resource and Sports Centre, Cork. Participants; Participants consisted of seventy three first year girls from an all-girls Secondary School in the North Side of Cork City, aged between 11-14 years. Forty eight transition year girls from the same school acted as mentors in the programme. Parental consent was obtained.

Intervention; First year students engaged in weekly one hour physical activity sessions, during their Physical Education classes, for 8 weeks. The intervention was organised and funded by a number of stakeholders and conducted at the Glen Resource Centre where the sessions were delivered by external tutors. Activities offered comprised of both traditional and non-traditional activities, (Self Defence, High Ropes, Creative Dance and Gaelic Football). The intervention also consisted of a mentoring element and each student received an Activity Journal for the intervention which they completed with the help of their mentors.

Main Outcome Measures; Levels of physical activity was assessed using the Previous Day Physical Activity Recall Questionnaire and a Concluding Questionnaire. Knowledge and attitudinal variables were assessed with questionnaires developed for this research. Focus groups, interviews and direct observation were used to assess the intervention process.

Results; An in-depth analysis of data revealed a minor increase in physical activity occurred between pre and post intervention, with 26% of the participants engaging in physical activity every day of the week, as opposed to 15% prior to the intervention. In addition to this, the number of students who never engaged in physical activity decreased from 7% to 3%, pre and post intervention. A total of 85% of the sample had positive perception of the Active 8 programme however, no change was found to have occurred in knowledge levels relating to physical activity, pre and post intervention. In-depth interviews revealed that stakeholders suggested that amendments be made to the programme to develop it for future roll outs while 75% of the focus group reported they would like to see a change in the activities involved in the programme.

Conclusions; Participants displayed a positive attitude towards the Active8 intervention.

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