Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Health and Human Performance (Community Health Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Health and Human Performance

Committee Chair

Laura Dybdal

Commitee Members

Steven Gaskill, Darrell Stolle


youth, formative evaluation, physical activity


University of Montana


With the increase in childhood obesity rates and the decrease of in school physical education classes, after school programs are becoming the key location and platform for children to receive their daily physical activity and education. The purpose of this study was to formatively evaluate an after school physical activity program at the Missoula Montana YMCA. The Active 6 program aims to decrease the drastic drop seen in physical activity levels among 6th graders and increase physical activity self-efficacy. This program works to educate 6th graders about the importance of physical activity and healthy eating habits. Qualitative information was collected via two focus groups with University of Montana students who are Active 6 program leaders, a key informant interview with the Active 6 coordinator, and a qualitative survey from the 6th grade participants. The themes inducted from the focus group and interview targeted perceptions about the Active 6 program, barriers associated with participation, and suggestions to improve the program. The survey provided insight regarding the 6th graders perceptions of the program; what they liked and didn’t like, what they would change and why they participated in Active 6. The results showed that all who were involved viewed the Active 6 program positively. The program provided opportunities for participants to increase physical activity levels and self-efficacy through vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and mastery experience. Formative results provided insight as to what was working well and where improvements could be made to further enhance the program. Using university students to run the program worked well; they were role models, and many 6th graders were motivated to partake in Active 6 to hang out with the university students. Training needed to be clearer on responsibilities and duties of the program leaders. Efforts to increase advertising and transportation options would have benefited participation. Recommendations for future studies of the Active 6 program would be to have multiple and on-going focus groups with program leaders, parents, teachers and 6th graders to assess program implementation, educational materials, activity selection, participation, child-program leader relationships, and enjoyment.

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© Copyright 2011 Alexis Baxter