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Maureen T. McGuire, Dianne R. Neumark-Sztainer and Mary Story

This study assessed whether the correlates related to physical activity and television viewing differed across gender, grade, and racial groups. Adolescents (n = 4746) from 31 junior and senior high schools completed a self-administered survey. Adolescents’ physical activity was related to their families’ and friends’ fitness concerns. Adolescents’ physical activity was also related to their own fitness and health concerns. Few correlates of physical activity differed by gender, age, or race. Television viewing was negatively related to the family’s fitness concerns and health concerns; however, these factors accounted for a small amount of the variance in adolescents’ television viewing. None of the factors related to television viewing differed by age or race groups. Future studies will need to identify the factors related to physical activity and television viewing among adolescents who are at greatest risk for inactivity.

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Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, Melissa N. Laska, Sara Veblen-Mortenson, Kian Farbakhsh, Bonnie Dudovitz and Mary Story

Background:

The aim of this study was to promote physical activity in 6th graders by developing and testing the feasibility of an enhanced Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) program comprised of a peer leadership component and innovative exercise resource toolkit including DVDs.

Methods:

A racially/ethnically diverse sample of students received the standard PALA program (2 control schools, n = 61) or enhanced PALA+Peers program (2 intervention schools, n = 87) during 2006–2007 academic year.

Results:

Compared with the control condition, the intervention was successful in increasing moderate physical activity in all students (P = .02) and moderate and hard physical activity among girls (P = .03 and P = .04, respectively). Teachers and students reported a high level of satisfaction and receptivity with the intervention. All teachers thought the DVDs were well-received, and 87% of students reported that they would recommend the enhanced program to peers.

Conclusion:

Coupling peer leadership and DVDs that promote physical activity may be an effective way to increase youth physical activity.

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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.

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Carrie D. Patnode, Leslie A. Lytle, Darin J. Erickson, John R. Sirard, Daheia J. Barr-Anderson and Mary Story

Background:

While much is known about the overall levels of physical activity and sedentary activity among youth, few studies have attempted to define clusters of such behaviors. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe unique classes of youth based on their participation in a variety of physical activity and sedentary behaviors.

Methods:

Latent class analysis was used to characterize segments of youth based on patterns of self-reported and accelerometer-measured participation in 12 behaviors. Children and adolescents (N = 720) from 6th-11th grade were included in the analysis. Differences in class membership were examined using multinomial logistic regression.

Results:

Three distinct classes emerged for boys and girls. Among boys, the 3 classes were characterized as “Active” (42.1%), “Sedentary” (24.9%), and “Low Media/Moderate Activity” (33.0%). For girls, classes were “Active” (18.7%), “Sedentary” (47.6%), and “Low Media/Functional Activity” (33.7%). Significant differences were found between the classes for a number of demographic indicators including the proportion in each class who were classified as overweight or obese.

Conclusions:

The behavioral profiles of the classes identified in this study can be used to suggest possible audience segments for intervention and to tailor strategies appropriately.