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April Y. Oh, Erin Hennessy, Kate E. McSpadden and Frank M. Perna

Purpose:

This study examines the relationship between state laws for physical education and neighborhood amenities for physical activity on weight status in adolescents of low socioeconomic status.

Methods:

Data from 2 national data sources: Classification of Laws Associated with School Students (CLASS) and the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) were combined and analyzed.

Results:

Multinomial regression models found that adolescents in states with strong PE law were associated with a lower odds of being obese [OR = 0.63 (0.41, 0.97)]; however, when PE law and neighborhood amenities were included, only neighborhood amenities were associated with lower odds of obesity, but also greater odds of overweight status.

Conclusion:

This study emphasizes the potential significance of state laws on low SES groups to combat obesity; as well as the potential differential effects of local level factors, and alignment with policy goals for healthy weight.

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Laura A. Dwyer, Minal Patel, Linda C. Nebeling and April Y. Oh

Background: Neighborhood and psychosocial variables are related to physical activity (PA), yet interactions between these factors in predicting PA are infrequently studied. Methods: This analysis examines the independent associations and interactions between self-reported neighborhood and psychosocial variables in relation to moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) among adults from a US panel sample. Results: In adjusted models, neighborhood social capital was positively associated with meeting MVPA guidelines. Fewer barriers, greater self-efficacy, and greater autonomous motivation also corresponded with greater odds of meeting MVPA guidelines. An interaction between social capital and autonomous motivation showed that social capital was only associated with MVPA when autonomous motivation was high. Participants who reported both high autonomous motivation and high social capital were most likely to meet MVPA guidelines. Conclusions: Neighborhood social capital, barriers, self-efficacy, and autonomous motivation may be important correlates in promoting adults’ PA. Future directions include using objective neighborhood and PA data in similar analyses and investigating associations of neighborhood and psychosocial variables with multiple PA activities. Intervention research to promote PA should also examine whether effects of interventions targeting psychosocial constructs are moderated by features of an individual’s neighborhood or whether perceived social capital can be addressed in interventions in conjunction with psychosocial variables.

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April Y. Oh, Shannon N. Zenk, JoEllen Wilbur, Richard Block, Judith McDevitt and Edward Wang

Background:

Crime may be a significant barrier to physical activity for urban African American women, yet few studies have examined this relationship in intervention studies. This study examines relationships among neighborhood crime incidents, perceptions of crime and safety, and adherence in a walking intervention among urban, midlife African-American women.

Methods:

The sample includes 148 women living in the City of Chicago. Violent crimes, disorder crimes, gun violence, and crime-related safety were examined. Adherence to walking frequency was measured as the percentage of recommended walks completed.

Results:

Controlling for demographic characteristics and treatment group, multivariate regression analyses showed walking adherence was not associated with any of the crime measures or crime-related safety (R 2 = 0.130 to 0.147). The effect of enhanced treatment did not differ by levels of objective or perceived neighborhood crime or safety. Weak to moderate bivariate correlations were observed between objective crime measures and perceived disorder crime and crime-related safety (r = 0.04 to 0.25).

Conclusions:

Weak correlations between perceived and objective crime measures suggest they are measuring different aspects of the crime environment. Future studies should examine perceived and objective measures in other populations and settings and other neighborhood social factors which may moderate crime and safety effects on outcomes of physical activity interventions.