Year of Award


Document Type


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

Stephen Yoshimura, Steven Gaskill


Active 6, afterschool program, barrier to participation, gender, health knowledge, impact evaluation, Missoula, participation rate, physical activity, recruitment, sedentary behavior, self-efficacy, social influences, socioeconomic status, youth


University of Montana


The afterschool environment has arisen as one of the main settings for physical activity programs that aim to prevent childhood obesity and increase physical activity (Beets et al., 2009). The YMCA Active 6 program in was created in 2010 in reaction to the obesity and physical activity trends in Montana’s youth. The program aims to increase physical activity in sixth grade participants and to educate them on different components that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. The purpose of the study was to assess the Active 6 program’s impact on sixth grade students in Missoula, MT. by increasing physical activity, decreasing sedentary behavior, increasing perceived self-efficacy, and improving health perceptions and knowledge. The study also determined if there was a relationship between rate of participation and program impact. In addition, the study assessed the program impact between specific groups, gender (male, female) and SES (low, high). The study also aimed to understand the parent’s perceptions of the program. Matching pre-and post- surveys were given to all participating sixth graders. Qualitative data was collected from conducting phone interviews with parents of sixth graders who were registered but not participating in the program, and parents of students who regularly participate in the program. Results showed that sixth grade participants had a significant increase in health perceptions and knowledge, daily minutes of physical activity, and physical activity self-efficacy from pre-to post assessment. In addition, the results showed that the program did not have a significant impact on gender (male, female) nor socioeconomic status (low, high). The study revealed that participation rate was not a significant predictor of program impact. The qualitative interview data results revealed that transportation was the biggest barrier to participation in the Active 6 program. The parents of students who were registered but not participating communicated an adequate understanding of the program. Parents of students who regularly participated felt the program impacted their child by increasing their activity level, improving their mood, and teaching them new skills. The findings from this study will be used by the Missoula, YMCA to develop, improve, & refine the Active 6 program strategies.



© Copyright 2013 Carly Michelle Holman