Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2015


Individuals who are highly physically active are more likely to have a greater self-esteem, better body image, and increased physical activity self-efficacy. Currently, the average PE program provides less than 12% of the recommended daily amount of physical activity, with adolescent girls being the least active. The primary purpose of this research is to explore the efficacy of an after-school program, Smart Fit Girls (SFG), which aims to improve adolescent girls physical activity habits, self-esteem and body image. A secondary purpose is to examine how physical activity and mother/daughter relationships affect adolescent girls physical and emotional health. Girls attending Riverside Middle School in Pendleton, SC and their mother or female guardian were recruited for this study. The girls were 10-14 years old, in good academic standing, and were not involved in school athletics. To explore the impact of SFG all participants and their mothers will complete two rounds (pre/post) of questionnaires and focus groups. A control group of daughters and mothers at R.C. Edwards in Clemson, SC will participate in quantitative and qualitative data collection as well. Preliminary data demonstrate an 11% increase in self-esteem and statistically significant improvements in body image between pre and post measurements in girl participants.