Psychometric properties of optimism and pessimism: Results from the Girls' Health Enrichment Multisite Studies

Wendell C. Taylor, Tom Baranowski, Lisa M. Klesges, Sydney Ey, Charlotte Pratt, Jim Rochon, Ainong Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. This study investigated the relationships among optimism, pessimism, physical activity, and dietary behaviors among 8- to 10-year-old African-American girls in the Girls' Health Enrichment Multisite Studies (GEMS). Methods. Ninety-two girls were randomly assigned to a 12-week physical activity and diet intervention or comparison group and completed psychosocial assessments including the Youth Life Orientation Test (YLOT) of optimism and pessimism, physical performance self-concept, physical activity self-efficacy, physical activity outcome expectancies, and physical activity and sedentary preferences. Also, preferences for bottled water and sweetened beverages were assessed. Physical activity and dietary intake were assessed by self-report and parent-report at baseline and follow-up. Also, physical activity was objectively assessed by wearing an accelerometer for 3 days. The psychometric properties of the optimism-pessimism subscales were analyzed. Results. The measures of optimism and pessimism in children were reliable (r = 0.75-0.82). In the multiple regression analyses without the intervention interaction terms, pessimism was positively and significantly related to increases in MET-adjusted usual activity (P = 0.008) and sedentary behaviors (P = 0.0004). Additionally, a negative (P = 0.026) pessimism by intervention interaction term for MET-adjusted usual activity was found such that the intervention group had a lower change in physical activity per unit increase in pessimism compared to the control group. Conclusions: Among 8- to 10-year-old African-American girls, pessimism was related to increased sedentary behaviors and usual activity. Previous studies have reported relationships between optimism and health-compromising behaviors. This study found that pessimism may positively or negatively influence efforts to increase health-promoting behaviors. Future research should confirm and clarify the meaning of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume38
Issue numberSUPPL.
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Psychometrics
Exercise
Health
African Americans
Pessimism
Optimism
Beverages
Self Efficacy
Self Concept
Drinking Water
Self Report
Regression Analysis
Diet
Control Groups

Keywords

  • GEMS
  • Optimism
  • Pessimism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Psychometric properties of optimism and pessimism : Results from the Girls' Health Enrichment Multisite Studies. / Taylor, Wendell C.; Baranowski, Tom; Klesges, Lisa M.; Ey, Sydney; Pratt, Charlotte; Rochon, Jim; Zhou, Ainong.

In: Preventive Medicine, Vol. 38, No. SUPPL., 05.2004.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Taylor, Wendell C. ; Baranowski, Tom ; Klesges, Lisa M. ; Ey, Sydney ; Pratt, Charlotte ; Rochon, Jim ; Zhou, Ainong. / Psychometric properties of optimism and pessimism : Results from the Girls' Health Enrichment Multisite Studies. In: Preventive Medicine. 2004 ; Vol. 38, No. SUPPL.
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abstract = "Background. This study investigated the relationships among optimism, pessimism, physical activity, and dietary behaviors among 8- to 10-year-old African-American girls in the Girls' Health Enrichment Multisite Studies (GEMS). Methods. Ninety-two girls were randomly assigned to a 12-week physical activity and diet intervention or comparison group and completed psychosocial assessments including the Youth Life Orientation Test (YLOT) of optimism and pessimism, physical performance self-concept, physical activity self-efficacy, physical activity outcome expectancies, and physical activity and sedentary preferences. Also, preferences for bottled water and sweetened beverages were assessed. Physical activity and dietary intake were assessed by self-report and parent-report at baseline and follow-up. Also, physical activity was objectively assessed by wearing an accelerometer for 3 days. The psychometric properties of the optimism-pessimism subscales were analyzed. Results. The measures of optimism and pessimism in children were reliable (r = 0.75-0.82). In the multiple regression analyses without the intervention interaction terms, pessimism was positively and significantly related to increases in MET-adjusted usual activity (P = 0.008) and sedentary behaviors (P = 0.0004). Additionally, a negative (P = 0.026) pessimism by intervention interaction term for MET-adjusted usual activity was found such that the intervention group had a lower change in physical activity per unit increase in pessimism compared to the control group. Conclusions: Among 8- to 10-year-old African-American girls, pessimism was related to increased sedentary behaviors and usual activity. Previous studies have reported relationships between optimism and health-compromising behaviors. This study found that pessimism may positively or negatively influence efforts to increase health-promoting behaviors. Future research should confirm and clarify the meaning of these findings.",
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