Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career and Higher Education

Major Professor

William H. Young


iPad app, Middle School Physical Education, Psychosocial variables, Self-Determination Theory, Technology



Finding ways to improve nutritional and physical activity components with today's adolescents is a significant problem. The obesity epidemic is over 10 years old and little research has been done on successful interventions that motivate today's students using the latest technology. A total of 140 middle school students and four physical education teachers participated in a 4-week study using a newly created application (AFIT app) for supplemental teaching in and out of the classroom. Combining a theoretical framework of Self-Determination and motivating strategies implored in today's mobile technology, significance was found using the PACE (2001) instrument in fruits and vegetable and physical activity psychosocial behaviors. The pretest to posttest for fruits and vegetables revealed a decrease in confidence for behaviors that support meeting recommended daily requirements in eating fruits and vegetables. The pretest to posttest for physical activity highlighted an increase in supporting behaviors for meeting the daily physical activity requirements, and an increase in friend support for meeting those daily physical activity requirements. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivators were incorporated in the app design and the tenets of autonomy, competence, and relatedness were used as adolescent motivators. At the end of the 4-week study, benefits and obstacles were also noted for both teachers and students with recommendations to increase teachers' in-services with regard to the latest technology and troubleshooting procedures. A home survey highlighted the need for more adult education in the household and stressed the importance of family support in both fruits and vegetables and physical activity behaviors.