n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Social support for physical activity among university students and the relationship with their health status : physical activity and health - : physical activity and health

Volume 18 Number sup-1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


The understanding of friends and family social support factors that influence the participation in physical activity among university students is a growing area of research. The purpose of the study was to examine the role of family and friends support in students physical activity participation. In addition, the study examines whether there are any association between social support and students current health status. The study made use of a qualitative design through a factor analysis procedure to examine key variables that account for friends and family support for physical activity. A twenty-two item social support scale captured friends and family support for physical activity. The findings revealed that friends support for physical activity was positively related to health related outcomes of university students. However, family social support showed no significant relationship with the health related outcomes of university students. No significant differences were noted between males and females respondents with regard friends' social support. However, differences were noted between mean values for males and females with regard to family social support. Male students reported that they derive more support from their family compared to their female counterparts. Participation in physical activity is likely to increase when students receive instrumental, emotional and mental support from their friends.

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