A typology of middle school girls: Audience segmentation related to physical activity

Lisa K. Staten, Amanda S. Birnbaum, Jared B. Jobe, John P. Elder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (TAAG) combines social ecological and social marketing approaches to promote girls' participation in physical activity programs implemented at 18 middle schools throughout the United States. Key to the TAAG approach is targeting materials to a variety of audience segments. TAAG segments are individuals who share one or more common characteristic that is expected to correlate with physical activity. Thirteen focus groups with seventh and eighth grade girls were conducted to identify and characterize segments. Potential messages and channels of communication were discussed for each segment. Based on participant responses, six primary segments were identified: athletic, preppy, quiet, rebel, smart, and tough. The focus group information was used to develop targeted promotional tools to appeal to a diversity of girls. Using audience segmentation for targeting persuasive communication is potentially useful for intervention programs but may be sensitive; therefore, ethical issues must be critically examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-80
Number of pages15
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Adolescents
  • Formative assessment
  • Methodology
  • Social marketing


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