Publication Details

Wright, J. & Laverty, J. (2010) Young people, physical activity and transitions, in J. Wright, J. & D. Macdonald (Eds), Young people, physical activity and the everyday, London and New York: Routledge, 136-149.


In the literature on young people’s health and its relation to participation in physical activity, there are recurring narratives that lament the decline in participation during the senior years of schooling and beyond (e.g. Sallis, Prochaska and Taylor 2000). This apparent decline has been interpreted as a significant problem and one that must be addressed by strategies to engage young people in more physical activity; most of which target young people with a view to changing their attitudes and behaviours (Gyurcsik, Bray and Brittain 2004; Leslie, Fotheringham, Owen and Bauman 2001). This concern about young people’s participation in physical activity seems to be embedded in, and adds support to, a notion that adolescence is a developmental period of ‘increased risk’, where young people are particularly susceptible to, and held responsible for, making ‘bad’ health choices (Rose 1992), as parents and schools exert a diminished influence over their lives.

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