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Latino Civic Group Participation, Social Networks, and Physical Activity

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Objectives: We examined whether social networks and resource awareness for physical activity may mediate the relationship between civic group participation and physical activity. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of a randomly selected sample of 335 Latinos (mean age 42.1 ± 16.4 years) participating in the San Diego Prevention Research Center's 2009 Household Community Survey. Serial multiple mediation analysis tested the hypothesis that civic group participation is associated with meeting physical activity recommendations through an indirect mechanism of larger social networks followed by greater knowledge of physical activity community resources. Results: The indirect effects of level of civic group participation as well as religious, health, neighborhood, or arts group participation on meeting national physical activity recommendations were significant in models testing pathways through social network size and physical activity resource awareness. The direct effect was only significant for health group indicating that participating in a health group predicted physical activity independent of social network size and awareness of physical activity resources. Conclusion: Belonging to civic groups may promote physical activity engagement through social network diffusion of information on community physical activity resources which has implications for health.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Family Medicine & Public Health, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA. [email protected] 2: Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA 3: Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA 4: College of Nursing, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2016

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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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