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Dan J. Graham, Katherine W. Bauer, Sarah Friend, Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, and Dianne Nuemark-Sztainer


Physical activity (PA) declines sharply and rapidly during adolescence, especially among girls, posing a risk for inactivity and obesity in adulthood. This study identified personal, behavioral, and socioenvironmental correlates of concurrent and 6-month longitudinal PA among adolescent girls.


Data were gathered from 356 adolescent girls (mean age 15.8 ± 1.2 years; > 75% racial/ethnic minorities) in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in 2007–2009. Linear regression analyses controlling for age, race/ethnicity, and school were conducted predicting baseline and follow-up levels of total PA and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) assessed via 3-Day Physical Activity Recall. Models were fit for each correlate individually and for all correlates together, mutually adjusted.


For concurrent PA, significant positive predictors when adjusting for the influence of all other variables included self-efficacy, support from friends and teachers, and friends’ PA. Total screen time and distance from school to PA resources related inversely to concurrent PA. In mutually-adjusted models, 6-month PA was positively related to self-worth, family support, and parent PA and inversely related to total screen time.


PA interventions with adolescent girls might be enhanced by involving adolescents’ social networks and also by helping adolescents feel better about their self-worth and athletic abilities.

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Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, Katherine W. Bauer, Peter J. Hannan, Mary Story, and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Little is known about adolescent girls’ accuracy of perception of physical activity (PA) opportunities in their neighborhood. Furthermore, few studies have explored whether proximity to PA opportunities is associated with girls’ recent use. Participants included 356 high school girls enrolled in New Moves, a school-based physical activity intervention. Objective proximity to neighborhood PA opportunities was assessed using Geographic Information System (GIS) software. Girls self-reported their perceived proximity to resources and recent use of these opportunities. Girls’ perceived proximity of distance to a park, walking/biking trail, and recreational center was associated with recent use of these resources (P = .02, P < .001, P < .001, respectively), whereas associations were not found with objective measures of distance. Both perceived and objective proximity were associated with recent use of a private fitness facility (P = .006 and P = .002, respectively). Perceived proximity to neighborhood PA opportunities is associated with use of those resources among adolescent girls. Increasing awareness of neighborhood opportunities could be a viable method to increasing PA.