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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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John R. Sirard, Peter Hannan, Gretchen J. Cutler and Dianne Nuemark-Sztainer

Background:

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate self-reported physical activity of young adults using 1-week and 1-year recall measures with an accelerometer as the criterion measure.

Methods:

Participants were a subsample (N = 121, 24 ± 1.7 yrs) from a large longitudinal cohort study. Participants completed a detailed 1-year physical activity recall, wore an accelerometer for 1 week and then completed a brief 1-week physical activity recall when they returned the accelerometer.

Results:

Mean values for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) from the 3 instruments were 3.2, 2.2, and 13.7 hours/wk for the accelerometer, 1-week recall, and 1-year recall, respectively (all different from each other, P < .001). Spearman correlations for moderate, vigorous, and MVPA between the accelerometer and the 1-week recall (0.30, 0.50, and 0.40, respectively) and the 1-year recall (0.31, 0.42, and 0.44, respectively) demonstrated adequate validity.

Conclusions:

Both recall instruments may be used for ranking physical activity at the group level. At the individual level, the 1-week recall performed much better in terms of absolute value of physical activity. The 1-year recall overestimated total physical activity but additional research is needed to fully test its validity.

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Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, Ramona Robinson-O’Brien, Jess Haines, Peter Hannan and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Background:

Parent-report and child perception of familial support for weight-related behaviors may not be congruent. This research explores whether parent-report or child perception is more strongly associated with child-reported physical activity and television (TV) use.

Methods:

Elementary school children (n = 73) participating in Ready. Set. ACTION!, a theater-based obesity prevention pilot program in Saint Paul, MN, and their parents completed surveys assessing familial support for physical activity and limitations on TV use in fall 2006. Paired t tests examined congruency between parent-report and child perception. Linear regression models adjusted for sociodemographics explored the associations between familial support and child-reported behavior.

Results:

Levels of agreement between parent-report and child perception for support for physical activity and limitations on TV use were approximately 70%. Compared with parent-report for physical activity support, child perception was more strongly associated with child physical activity (β = .17, P = .02). Neither parent-report nor child perception for support for limitations on TV use was associated with child TV use.

Discussion:

Although parent-report and child perception of familial support for physical activity and to limit TV use were similar, child perception was more strongly associated with child physical activity behavior. More research, probably qualitative, is needed to examine how parents and children define and perceive parental support.