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Galya Bigman, Vandita Rajesh, Laura M. Koehly, Larkin L. Strong, Abiodun O. Oluyomi, Sara S. Strom and Anna V. Wilkinson

Background:

Existing racial/ethnic disparities in physical activity during childhood increase Hispanics’ risk of developing chronic diseases, which serves to increase health disparities. This study examined associations of family cohesion and conflict with self-reported moderate-tovigorous physical activity (MVPA), controlling for psychosocial covariates such as subjective social status, anxiety, and sensation-seeking.

Methods:

1000 Mexican origin adolescents reported their MVPA levels approximately 2 years apart. Psychosocial covariates, family cohesion and conflict were measured at the first assessment. Generalized Linear Models were used to prospectively examine the relationship between family cohesion and conflict and subsequent MVPA based on 711 participants who had low levels of baseline MVPA.

Results:

35% of boys and 24% of girls reported adequate MVPA levels at follow-up; girls were less likely to report adequate MVPA (RR = 0.76; 95% CI: 0.61–0.93) than boys. Overall, family cohesion was associated with MVPA (P = .01), but family cohesion was not (P = .41). Gender-based analyses revealed that adequate MVPA was associated with family cohesion (RR = 1.40; 95% CI: 1.03–1.88), sensation seeking (RR = 1.05; 95% CI: 1.00–1.10), and age (RR = 0.85; 95% CI: 0.74–0.98) among girls and with subjective social status (RR = 1.20; 95% CI: 1.08–1.33) among boys.

Conclusions:

The family social environment and gender differences should be addressed in health promotion programs targeting MVPA.

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Larkin L. Strong, Cheryl B. Anderson, Patricia Y. Miranda, Melissa L. Bondy, Renke Zhou, Carol Etzel, Margaret Spitz and Anna V. Wilkinson

Background:

Understanding the factors that contribute to physical activity (PA) in Mexican-origin adolescents is essential to the design of effective efforts to enhance PA participation in this population.

Methods:

Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify sociodemographic and behavioral correlates of self-reported PA in school and community settings in 1154 Mexican-origin adolescents aged 12–17 years in Houston, TX.

Results:

The majority of adolescents were born in the US (74%), approximately half (51%) were overweight or obese, and nearly three-quarters (73%) watched more than 2 hours of weekday television. Similarities and differences by setting and gender were observed in the relationships between sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics and PA. In boys, parental education and attending physical education (PE) were positively associated with PA across multiple PA outcomes. Adolescent linguistic acculturation was inversely associated with participation in community sports, whereas parental linguistic acculturation was positively associated with PA at school. In girls, PA in school and community settings was inversely associated with TV viewing and positively associated with PE participation.

Conclusions:

These findings highlight similarities and differences in correlates of PA among boys and girls, and point toward potential sources of opportunities as well as disparities for PA behaviors in Mexican-origin adolescents.