Correlates of Weight-Bearing Physical Activity Among Adolescent Girls: Results From a National Survey of Girls and Their Parents

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Despite the potential benefits of reducing the risk of osteoporosis in later life, research on adolescent girls’ weight-bearing physical activity (WBPA) is limited. This study explores correlates for WBPA in this population.


A nationally representative telephone survey sponsored by the National Bone Health Campaign was conducted with 1000 girls age 9 to 12 years and a parent. Girls’ physical activities were coded as weight bearing or not and correlated with cognitive, social, and environmental variables.


Regression analysis revealed that WBPA was significantly associated with self-reported parents’ education, parental self-efficacy, girls’ normative beliefs about time spent in physical activity, being physically active with a parent, having physically active friends, and perceived availability of after-school physical activities.


Interventions encouraging parents to participate in WBPA with their daughters and increasing parents’ positive attitudes and self-efficacy in getting their daughters to be physically active should be tested.

Price is with Westat, Rockville, MD 20850. McDivitt and Fulton are with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341. Weber is with Porter Novelli, Gainesville, FL 32605. Wolff is with Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02139. Massett is with the National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD 20852.