All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

David C Schwebel

Advisory Committee Members

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried

Avi Madan-Swain

Diane C Tucker

Kimberly Whelan

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Childhood cancer survivors are at increased risk for future health problems. As such, physical activity (PA) has been targeted as a health promotion priority in child and adolescent cancer survivors. Despite research suggesting PA has protective health benefits, a large proportion of survivors do not meet PA recommendations. Development of effective interventions to increase PA in pediatric cancer survivors requires an understanding of the processes that determine survivor PA. Research on the determinants of PA in child and adolescent survivors is sparse, with most research focusing on late adolescent, young adult, and adult survivors of childhood cancer. The following papers apply a theoretical approach to the study of the predictors of PA in child and adolescent survivors of cancer. First, a review and accompanying conceptual model explaining survivors' PA are presented. Next, two empirical papers guided by specific domains of the conceptual model examine the predictors of PA in child and adolescent survivors. The first empirical paper explores the social, demographic, and medical influences on survivor PA. The second empirical paper examines the mediational role of cognitive influences on the relations between social support and survivor PA. Finally, implications of the conceptual model and findings of the two empirical papers are discussed with an emphasis on future research priorities.

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