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Determinants of Physical Activity in Low-income, Overweight African American Girls

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Objectives : To examine the relationship between puberty, sedentary behaviors, and psychosocial influences with intention for physical activity (PA) and PA.

Methods : Low-income, overweight African American girls (n=72) completed 5 questionnaires that assessed PA, sedentary behaviors, and psychosocial influences. Puberty was assessed using Tanner stages. Multiple linear regression was used to examine the relationships between these measures and intention for PA.

Results : Puberty was significantly associated with lower intention for PA, whereas health beliefs such as staying in shape and social support were significantly associated with greater intention for PA.

Conclusions : Puberty, health beliefs for PA, and social support from parents and peers were significant predictors of intention for PA in low-income, overweight African American girls.

Keywords: low-income African American girls; physical activity; psychosocial variables; puberty; sedentary behaviors

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Publication date: May 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • 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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