Development and Testing of a Sports Intervention to Promote Physical Activity in Rural Girls (GirlsPLAY)

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San Diego State University






Behavioral: Girls PLAY program

Study type


Funder types



1K01HL171860-01 (U.S. NIH Grant/Contract)

Details and patient eligibility


The goal of this study is to examine the impact of a 12-week sports sampling and physical literacy program on rural girls' physical activity.

Full description

Fewer than 30% of elementary-aged youth meet physical activity guidelines, with lower activity levels found among girls, racial minorities, and those living in rural areas. Sport is one of the best strategies for promoting physical activity, yet girls, Hispanics, and rural populations participate in youth sport at lower numbers and drop out at a higher rate. In line with Self-Determination Theory, commonly cited barriers include lack of competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Physical literacy and sport sampling have also been identified as key determinants of youth sport participation. Developing interventions around physical literacy and sport sampling, with intervention delivery grounded in Self-Determination Theory principles, is a promising strategy for promoting youth sport. However, the few existing interventions aimed to promote girls' physical activity through sport were developed outside the United States, focused on adolescent (versus younger) girls, and/or conducted among urban or suburban youth, limiting generalizability. Rural, Hispanic girls face unique challenges around sport that should be identified and addressed, yet there remains a paucity of information on determinants of sport participation among this population. This study aims to to develop, tailor, and examine the impact of a tailored Boys \& Girls Clubs (BGC) sport sampling and physical literacy program on rural girls' physical activity levels. BGC is an organization that provides learning and leadership programs to millions of rural youth nationwide, about half of whom are girls. This study will enroll Hispanic girls ages 8-10 living in rural Imperial County, California. The first aims are to develop and refine a 12-week sport sampling and physical literacy intervention entitled "Girls Positive Learning Activities for Youth", or "Girls PLAY". The Girls PLAY intervention will be delivered as Boys \& Girls Clubs programming, and intervention delivery will be grounded in Self-Determination Theory. We will then examine the feasibility of the 12-week Girls PLAY intervention. Secondary outcomes of physical activity levels, physical literacy, Self-Determination Theory constructs, and sports participation will also be assessed.


30 estimated patients




8 to 10 years old


Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • living in Imperial County, California
  • identify as female
  • aged 8-10 years old
  • enrolled at a participating Boys & Girls Club site

Exclusion criteria

  • has a sibling enrolled in the study
  • physical or mental impairment that would preclude physical activity or protocol compliance

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Single Group Assignment


None (Open label)

30 participants in 1 patient group

Girls PLAY program
Experimental group
Behavioral: Girls PLAY program

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Ashleigh Johnson, DrPH

Data sourced from

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