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Choosing active role models to inspire girls

4 February 2016

basketball team

New funding will allow the University to develop a ‘role-model’ intervention aiming to provide sustained changes in physical activity and increase awareness of cancer-preventative behaviours in girls.

The CHARMING study is funded by Cancer Research UK and will be led by Dr Kelly Morgan, a Research Associate at DECIPHer (Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement).

Dr Morgan said: “Physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain cancers. Currently, girls in particular, especially preadolescents, are not sufficiently active and this needs to improve. Evidence has suggested that using ‘role models’ can help inspire young girls to become more active in a sustainable way.

“To date, this area of research has predominantly focused on adolescents, and research has yet to examine this area amongst younger girls in the UK.”

Key objectives of the project will include the identification of physical activity or sporting ‘role models’ for preadolescent girls and exploration of opportunities for preadolescent girls to be physically active in the community through addressing the advertisement, availability and accessibility of physical activities.

This project is comprised of two phases. In the first phase, the intervention will be co-developed using qualitative methods with girls, parents, school teachers and other key stakeholders. This phase will also include the development of ‘cancer resource packs’ (containing active ‘warm up’ games involving cancer prevention messages) and  the identification of popular physical activities.

In the second phase, the intervention will be piloted (in accordance with the findings from phase one) in the form of a six week ‘role-model’ intervention. This will take place in two primary schools to test the acceptability and feasibility of the novel school-based programme.

This Cancer Research UK funded project is led by DECIPHer’s Dr Kelly Morgan of Cardiff University, and will run from December 2015 to December 2016.