Evaluation of Physical Activity Interventions
This chapter covers the main concepts and methods relevant to the evaluation of physical activity (PA) interventions in child and adolescent populations (youth). It explores the iterative phases of an intervention’s development, testing, implementation, and dissemination and used to categorize evaluation questions relating to the concepts of feasibility, efficacy/effectiveness, process, reach, and generalizability. The chapter also explores theoretical underpinnings of behavior change and the influence of mediating factors when establishing the causal role of a given intervention, and principles of study design and scientific inference will be applied to the task of evaluating PA as a behavioral outcome. It discusses the complexity of translating evidence-based results into sustainable health promotion practice using a framework that considers process evaluation and program dissemination. The chapter highlights the phases of the research process and the synergy between evaluations of experimental outcome and intervention development.