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Chia-Yuan Yu and Ayoung Woo

Background:

Parental safety concerns have been recognized as a critical determinant of adolescents’ physical activity. However, it is still uncertain what factors relate to parental safety concern, and how they, in turn, affect adolescents’ physical activity. This study explored the mediating relationships of parental safety concern on adolescents’ physical activity by considering personal, social, and built environmental factors.

Methods:

This cross-sectional analysis used the data from Growing Up in Ireland (GUI), a national study (N = 5212). A structural equation model (SEM) was used to evaluate the hypothesized framework.

Results:

50% of the adolescents engaged in at least 6 days of exercise every 14 days, at a rate of at least 20-minutes per day. Adolescents were more physically active when parents perceived higher levels of safety. Parents perceived their children as safe when they lived in areas with easy access to play spaces. Moreover, adolescents with more close friends and more friends with whom they could play were more physically active and their parents perceived higher levels of safety.

Conclusions:

Parental safety concerns may profoundly affect adolescent’s physical activity and the resulting health outcomes. Programs and policies should consider the importance of parental safety concerns in promoting adolescents’ physical activity.

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Chia-Yuan Yu, Ayoung Woo, Christopher Hawkins and Sara Iman

Background: This study examined the association between residential segregation and obesity for Whites, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. This study considered 3 dimensions of residential segregation, isolation, dissimilarity, and concentration. Methods: By combining individual-level data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and county-level data from the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, the total sample size was 204,610 respondents (160,213 Whites, 21,865 African Americans, 18,027 Hispanics, and 4505 Asians) from 205 counties in the United States. Two-level logistic regression models were performed. Results: African Americans and Hispanics in counties with high levels of isolation, dissimilarity, and concentration were more likely to be obese; these relationships did not hold true for Whites and Asians. Counties with a higher percentage of populations with the income below the poverty line and a higher percentage of fast food restaurants in the county were associated with a higher likelihood of obesity for all racial/ethnic groups. African Americans and Hispanics with low levels of education and income were more likely to be obese. Conclusions: Residential segregation had a contextual influence on weight status, and the context of counties influenced racial/ethnic groups differently. Obesity reduction programs should consider the contextual influence on minority populations and target subgroups living in highly segregated areas.