Personal, Social, and Environmental Correlates of Physical Activity in a Bi-Ethnic Sample of Adolescents

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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We examined associations of demographic/biological, psychological, social, and environmental variables with two different measures (self-reported and accelerometer) of physical activity (PA) in Mexican-American (56 boys; 64 girls) and European-American (49 boys; 45 girls) children (mean age = 12.1 years). Among 32 potential correlates, 4 gender and 16 ethnic differences were found. Percent of variance explained from 3% to 24% for self-reported PA and from 7% to 16% for accelerometer-measured PA. Physical self-perception was the only variable with a significant association across all subgroups and both measures. Less favorable levels of psychosocial variables among Mexican-Americans may explain ethnic differences in PA.

C.F. Morgan and T.L. McKenzie are with the Department of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA; J.F. Sallis is with the Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA; and S.L. Broyles, M.M. Zive, and P.R. Nader are with the Division of Community Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, CA.