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Background: Children and youths from low-income families and certain ethnic minority groups show high levels of risk and vulnerability to physical inactivity. The aim of this review was to examine the effectiveness of interventions to increase physical activity (PA) in children and youths from low-income and ethnic minority (LIEM) families. Methods: Eight databases were systematically searched for PA interventions for LIEM children and youths. Twenty-six studies were included in the analyses. Effect sizes (ESs) were calculated using a random-effects model. The ESs were computed using Hedges g with 95% confidence interval. Results: There were small to medium effects of interventions on PA in LIEM children and youth (Q = 1499.193, df = 30, P < .05; I2 = 97.999). Analyses on the moderator variables showed that ES for participants aged 9–12 years (ES = 0.542, P = .01); intervention length less than 13 weeks (ES = 0.561, P = .01); specialists as the intervention agent (ES = 0.680, P < .05); interventions without technology (ES = 0.363, P = .02); and interventions with a behavioral modification component (ES = 0.336, P = .03) were significantly different from zero. Conclusion: PA intervention can be an effective strategy to increase PA for LIEM children and youths.
Chang and J. Lee are with the Department of Kinesiology, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA. Kim is with the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO. S. Lee is with Texas A&M University, San Antonio, TX.