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Pat António Goldsmith

This paper examines why African Americans and Whites participate in different high school sports at different rates. Considered are explanations based on family, neighborhood, and school inequality as well as explanations stemming from two race-relations theories (competition theory and the cultural division of labor perspective) that see racial differences in culture as a product of racialized norms that vary in strength across settings. Data from the NELS and the 1990 Census are analyzed by mixing multinomial logistic regression with multilevel models. Results indicate that racial differences in sports that Whites play more are largely the result of SES and neighborhood inequality. Differences in sports Blacks play more have strong race effects. Moreover, racial differences are larger in schools with proportionately more Blacks and in schools with more racial hierarchy, providing partial support for both race-relations theories.

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Karen S. Meaney, Melanie A. Hart and L. Kent Griffin

Social-Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1986, 1999) served as the framework to explore overweight children’s perceptions of different physical activity settings. Participants were children (n = 67) enrolled in an after-school and summer program for overweight African-American and Hispanic-American children from low-income families. To gain insight into the children’s thoughts encompassing their participation in both the after school/summer program and their physical education classes at their respective elementary schools, all of the children individually participated in semistructured interviews. Children enjoyed their involvement in the after-school/summer program and described social, physical, and cognitive benefits related to their participation. Interview data also revealed children’s ideas and suggestions for adapting physical education to enhance participation in physical activity. Based on these results, instructional and management strategies focusing on promoting a nurturing environment in physical activity settings for all children (overweight and nonoverweight) are presented and discussed.

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Justin B. Moore, John C. Hanes Jr., Paule Barbeau, Bernard Gutin, Roberto P. Treviño and Zenong Yin

The Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C) is a validated self-report measure of physical activity widely used to assess physical activity in children (8-14 years of age). To date, however, the instrument has been validated in largely White Canadian samples. The purpose of the present article is to determine the psychometric properties of the PAQ-C for African American, European American, and Hispanic children. Two studies were conducted in which independent samples were administered the PAQ-C, along with varying indices of cardiovascular fitness, fatness, and psychological measures related to physical activity. Results showed that the reliability and validity of the PAQ-C varied by race and that modifications might be necessary.

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Russell R. Pate, Stewart G. Trost, Marsha Dowda, Alise E. Ott, Dianne S. Ward, Ruth Saunders and Gwen Felton

This study examined the tracking of selected measures of physical activity, inactivity, and fitness in a cohort of rural youth. Students (N = 181, 54.7% female, 63.5% African American) completed test batteries during their fifth- (age = 10.7 ± 0.7 years), sixth-, and seventh-grade years. The Previous Day Physical Activity Recall (PDPAR) was used to assess 30-min blocks of vigorous physical activity (VPA), moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), TV watching and other sedentary activities, and estimated energy expenditure (EE). Fitness measures included the PWC 170 cycle ergometer test, strength tests, tnceps skinfold thickness, and BMI. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for VPA, MVPA, and after-school EE ranged from 0.63 to 0.78. ICCs ranged from 0.49 to 0.71 for measures of inactivity and from 0.78 to 0.82 for the fitness measures. These results indicate that measures of physical activity, inactivity, and physical fitness tend to track during the transition from elementary to middle school.

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Sara Wilcox, Melinda Forthofer, Patricia A. Sharpe and Brent Hutto

Background:

Walking interventions delivered by lay leaders have been shown to be effective. Knowing the characteristics of individuals who volunteer to be group leaders in walking programs could facilitate more efficient and effective recruitment and training.

Methods:

Walking group leaders were recruited into a community-based program and formed walking groups from existing social networks. Leaders and members completed a survey, participated in physical measurements, and wore an accelerometer. Regression models (adjusting for group clustering and covariates) tested psychosocial and behavioral differences between leaders and members.

Results:

The sample included 296 adults (86% women, 66% African American). Leaders (n = 60) were similar to members (n = 236) with respect to most sociodemographic and health characteristics, but were significantly older and more likely to report arthritis and high cholesterol (P-values < .05). Although leaders and members were similar in sedentary behavior and physical activity, leaders reported higher levels of exercise self-regulation, self-efficacy, and social support (P-values < .01). Leaders also reported greater use of outdoor trails (P = .005) and other outdoor recreation areas (P = .003) for physical activity than members.

Conclusion:

Although walking group leaders were no more active than members, leaders did display psychosocial characteristics and behaviors consistent with a greater readiness for change.

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Michelle C. Kegler, Iris Alcantara, Regine Haardörfer, Alexandra Gemma, Denise Ballard and Julie Gazmararian

Background:

Physical activity levels, including walking, are lower in the southern U.S., particularly in rural areas. This study investigated the concept of rural neighborhood walkability to aid in developing tools for assessing walkability and to identify intervention targets in rural communities.

Methods:

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with physically active adults (n = 29) in rural Georgia. Mean age of participants was 55.9 years; 66% were male, 76% were white, and 24% were African American. Participants drew maps of their neighborhoods and discussed the relevance of typical domains of walkability to their decisions to exercise. Comparative analyses were conducted to identify major themes.

Results:

The majority felt the concept of neighborhood was applicable and viewed their neighborhood as small geographically (less than 0.5 square miles). Sidewalks were not viewed as essential for neighborhood-based physical activity and typical destinations for walking were largely absent. Destinations within walking distance included neighbors’ homes and bodies of water. Views were mixed on whether shade, safety, dogs, and aesthetics affected decisions to exercise in their neighborhoods.

Conclusions:

Measures of neighborhood walkability in rural areas should acknowledge the small size of self-defined neighborhoods, that walking in rural areas is likely for leisure time exercise, and that some domains may not be relevant.

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Sara Wilcox, Patricia A. Sharpe, Brent Hutto and Michelle L. Granner

Background:

Self-efficacy is a consistent correlate of physical activity, but most self-efficacy measures have not been validated in diverse populations. This study examined the construct, criterion-related, and convergent validity and internal consistency of the Self-Efficacy for Exercise Questionnaire.

Methods:

African American and Caucasian adults (N = 1919) from two adjacent counties in South Carolina were identified through a list-assisted random digit-dialed telephone survey. Psychometric properties of the measure were assessed by gender, race, age, education, and body weight subgroups.

Results:

Across all subgroups, a single-factor solution explained 93 to 98% of the common variance in an exploratory factor analysis, and all 14 items had factor loadings exceeding 0.40. Higher exercise self-efficacy was significantly associated with greater physical activity, younger age, male gender, higher education, and lower body weight, as predicted. Internal consistency was high for all subgroups (α = 0.90 to 0.94).

Conclusion:

The Self-Efficacy for Exercise Questionnaire appears to be a valid and reliable measure for use with diverse populations.

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Leslie A. Pruitt, Abby C. King, Eva Obarzanek, Michael Miller, Mary O’Toole, William L. Haskell, Laura Fast, Sheila Reynolds and for the Activity Counseling Trial Research Group

Background:

Physical activity recall (PAR) reliability was estimated in a three-site sample of African American and white adults. The sample was sedentary at baseline and more varied in physical activity 24 months later. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to estimate the number of PAR assessments necessary to obtain a reliability of 0.70 at both timepoints.

Methods:

The PAR was administered ≤ 30 d apart at baseline (n = 547) and 24 months (n = 648). Energy expenditure ICC was calculated by race, gender, and age.

Results:

Baseline reliability was low for all groups with 4–16 PARs estimated to attain reliable data. ICCs at 24 months were similar (ICC = 0.54–0.55) for race and age group, with 2–3 PARs estimated to reach acceptable reliability. At 24 months, women were more reliable reporters than men.

Conclusion:

Low sample variability in activity reduced reliability, highlighting the importance of evaluating diverse groups. Despite evaluating a sample with greater physical activity variability, an estimated 2–3 PARs were necessary to obtain acceptable reliability.

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Carolyn J. Murrock and Christine Heifner Graor

This study documented the feasibility and immediate effects of a dance intervention two times per week for 12 weeks on depression, physical function, and disability in older, underserved adults. The one-group, pretest–posttest study had a convenience sample of 40 participants recruited from a federally subsidized apartment complex located in an economically depressed, inner-city neighborhood. Depression, physical function, and disability were measured at baseline and 12 weeks. Average age was 63 years (SD = 7.9), 92% were female, and 75% were African American. At baseline, participants reported increased depression (M = 20.0, SD = 12.4), decreased physical function (M = 56.6, SD = 10.9), and increased disability limitations (M = 65.7, SD = 14.9). At posttest, paired t tests showed that the dance intervention significantly decreased depression, t = 6.11, p < .001, and disability, t = −2.70, p = .014, and significantly increased physical function, t = -2.74, p = .013. The results indicate that the 12-week dance intervention may be an effective adjunct therapy to improve depression, disability, and physical function in underserved adults.

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Robert Medairos, Vicky Kang, Carissa Aboubakare, Matthew Kramer and Sheila Ann Dugan

Background:

This study aims to identify patterns of use and preferences related to technology platforms that could support physical activity (PA) programs in an underserved population.

Methods:

A 29-item questionnaire was administered at 5 health and wellness sites targeting low income communities in Chicago. Frequency tables were generated for Internet, cell phone, and social media use and preferences. Chi-squared analysis was used to evaluate differences across age and income groups.

Results:

A total of 291 individuals participated and were predominantly female (69.0%). Majority reported incomes less than $30,000 (72.9%) and identified as African American/Black/Caribbean (49.3%) or Mexican/Mexican American (34.3%). Most participants regularly used smartphones (63.2%) and the Internet (75.9%). Respondents frequently used Facebook (84.8%), and less commonly used Instagram (43.6%), and Twitter (20.0%). Free Internet-based exercise programs were the most preferred method to increase PA levels (31.6%), while some respondents (21.0%) thought none of the surveyed technology applications would help.

Conclusion:

Cell phone, Internet, and social media use is common among the surveyed underserved population. Technology preferences to increase PA levels varied, with a considerable number of respondents not preferring the surveyed technology platforms. Creating educational opportunities to increase awareness may maximize the effectiveness of technology-based PA interventions.