Gender Differences in Sociodemographic and Behavioral Influences of Physical Activity in Mexican-Origin Adolescents

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Understanding the factors that contribute to physical activity (PA) in Mexican-origin adolescents is essential to the design of effective efforts to enhance PA participation in this population.


Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify sociodemographic and behavioral correlates of self-reported PA in school and community settings in 1154 Mexican-origin adolescents aged 12–17 years in Houston, TX.


The majority of adolescents were born in the US (74%), approximately half (51%) were overweight or obese, and nearly three-quarters (73%) watched more than 2 hours of weekday television. Similarities and differences by setting and gender were observed in the relationships between sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics and PA. In boys, parental education and attending physical education (PE) were positively associated with PA across multiple PA outcomes. Adolescent linguistic acculturation was inversely associated with participation in community sports, whereas parental linguistic acculturation was positively associated with PA at school. In girls, PA in school and community settings was inversely associated with TV viewing and positively associated with PE participation.


These findings highlight similarities and differences in correlates of PA among boys and girls, and point toward potential sources of opportunities as well as disparities for PA behaviors in Mexican-origin adolescents.

Strong is with the Dept of Health Disparities Research, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. Anderson, Bondy, Zhou, and Spitz are with the Dept of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. Miranda is with the Dept of Health Policy and Administration, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. Etzel is with the Dept of Epidemiology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. Wilkinson is with the Division of Epidemiology, University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin, TX.