The importance of self-monitoring for behavior change in youth: Findings from the SWITCH® school wellness feasibility study

Gabriella M. McLoughlin, Richard R. Rosenkranz, Joey A. Lee, Maren M. Wolff, Senlin Chen, David A. Dzewaltowski, Spyridoula Vazou, Lorraine Lanningham-Foster, Douglas A. Gentile, Marisa S. Rosen, Gregory J. Welk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


School Wellness Integration Targeting Child Health (SWITCH®) is a school wellness implementation initiative focused on building capacity for schools to plan and coordinate wellness programming. Grounded in Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), the purpose of this study was to evaluate the utility of the web-based, self-regulation system on physical activity (PA) behavior outcomes. At pre-test and post-test, students in SWITCH® schools (n = 8) completed the online Youth Activity Profile (YAP) to assess PA and sedentary behavior (SB). Students (n = 513) were categorized into high or low self-monitoring groups (using a median split) based on their use of the web-based self-regulation platform. Linear mixed models were used to assess differences in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and sedentary behavior, with school, classroom, student, time-by-school, and time-by-classroom random effects and main and interaction fixed effects for student self-monitoring, gender, and time. Significant self-monitoring-by-time interactions were observed for estimates of PA F(1, 477) = 5.55, p = 0.02 and SB F(1, 477) = 4.90, p = 0.03. Students in the high self-monitoring group had larger gains in PA per day and larger declines in hours per day of sedentary screen time behavior compared to students in the low self-monitoring group. These findings support the utility of web-based self-regulation for facilitating PA change in youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3806
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019


  • Dissemination and implementation
  • Health promotion
  • Obesity prevention
  • Physical activity
  • School wellness
  • Sedentary behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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