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The Role of Peer Social Network Factors and Physical Activity in Adolescent Girls

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Objective: To study the relationship between peer-related physical activity (PA) social networks and the PA of adolescent girls. Methods: Cross-sectional, convenience sample of adolescent girls. Mixed-model linear regression analyses to identify significant correlates of self-reported PA while accounting for correlation of girls in the same school. Results: Younger girls were more active than older girls. Most activity-related peer social network items were related to PA levels. More PA with friends was significantly related to self-reported PA in multivariate analyses. Conclusions: Frequency of PA with friends was an important correlate of PA among the peer network variables for adolescent girls.

Keywords: Social networks; adolescents; girls; physical activity; social support

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Public and Community Health, Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 2: Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 3: Department of Health and Human Performance, Iowa State University, Ames IA 4: Weill Cornell Medical Center, Department of Public Health, New York, NY 5: Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, UNC School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC 6: Department of Community Health Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA 7: Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 8: Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 9: Administrator, Behavioral Medicine Scientific Research Group, Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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