Mothers and teenage daughters walking to health: using the behaviour change wheel to develop an intervention to improve adolescent girls’ physical activity


The behaviour change wheel (BCW) was used for intervention design.
The goal is to improve physical activity levels in adolescent girls.
Intervention functions and behaviour change techniques were selected.
The BCW allowed in-depth consideration of the target behaviours.



The majority of adolescent girls fail to meet public health guidelines for physical activity. Engaging mothers in the promotion of physical activity for their daughters may be an important strategy to facilitate behaviour change. The aim of this study was to use the behaviour change wheel (BCW) framework to design the components of an intervention to improve adolescent girls’ physical activity.

Study design

Cross-sectional study to inform intervention development.


The BCW framework was used to (1) understand the behaviour, (2) identify intervention functions and (3) select content and implementation options. A circular development process was undertaken by the research team to collectively design the intervention in accordance with the steps recommended by the BCW.


The BCW design process resulted in the selection of six intervention functions (education, persuasion, incentivization, training, modelling, enablement) and 18 behaviour change techniques delivered via group-based, face-to-face mode. Behaviour change technique groupings include: goals and planning; feedback and monitoring; social support; shaping knowledge; natural consequences; comparison of behaviour; associations; comparison of outcomes; reward and threat; identity; and, self-belief.


The BCW process allowed an in-depth consideration of the target behaviours and provided a systematic framework for developing the intervention. The feasibility and preliminary efficacy of the programme will be examined.


E.M.Murtagh A.T.Barnes J.McMullen P.J.Morgan

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