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Adolescent Gender and Ethnicity Differences in Physical Activity Perceptions and Behavior

Soojin Yoo, Monica A.F. Lounsbery, Tim J. Bungum, and Julie Gast


To examine gender and ethnicity differences in adolescents’ physical activity (PA) behavior and perceptions.


Surveys designed to measure PA behavior and perception were completed by 175 adolescents. Gender and ethnicity differences in PA behavior were examined using chi-square tests. A two-way between groups MANOVA was used to examine perception.


No significant differences were found between gender groups for PA. Caucasian students were more likely to be active and to perceive that PA makes their health better. Hispanics were more likely to perceive that PA requires more time than Caucasians.


Findings suggest greater consideration be given to the ethnic orientation of PA behavior antecedents when promoting PA to adolescents.