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Clive C. Pope and Mary O’Sullivan

This study examined the ecology of “free gym” as it occurred in both school lunch hour and after-school community settings. In an effort to understand how urban youth experience sport, an ethnography using multiple methods was conducted to ascertain how urban youth shape their own cultures according to the social forces operating within the gymnasium. A period of sustained observation revealed a student-imposed hierarchy that was dominated by skilled male African American basketball players. Status was gained through what occurred within the free-gym ecology. Students often had to learn the system by “serving time” before they could join a desired level of the hierarchy. While a few students thrived in this environment, most merely survived or were marginalized. Such a setting has implications for how physical education and school culture is subjected to wider societal influences. The presence of socially chronic situations such as free gym require a pedagogy that is more democratic and more enriching, thereby moving from the real toward the ideal.

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Felipe Lobelo, Marsha Dowda, Karin A. Pfeiffer and Russell R. Pate

Background:

Few investigations have assessed in adolescent girls the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between elevated exposure to electronic media (EM) and activity-related outcomes such as compliance with physical activity (PA) standards or cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF).

Methods:

Four-hundred thirty-seven white and African American girls were assessed at the 8th, 9th, and 12th grades. PA and EM (TV/video watching, electronic games, Internet use) were self-reported, and CRF was estimated using a cycle-ergometer test. Hi EM exposure was defined as ≥four 30-minute blocks/d.

Results:

8th-, 9th-, and 12th-grade girls in the Hi EM group showed lower compliance with PA standards and had lower CRF than the Low EM group (P ≤ .03). Girls reporting Hi EM exposure at 8th and 9th grades had lower vigorous PA and CRF levels at 12th grade than girls reporting less EM exposure (P ≤ .03).

Conclusion:

Girls reporting exposure to EM for 2 or more hours per day are more likely to exhibit and maintain low PA and CRF levels throughout adolescence. These results enhance the scientific basis for current public health recommendations to limit adolescent girls’ daily exposure to television, electronic games, and Internet use to a combined maximum of 2 hours.

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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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Stewart G. Trost, Dianne S. Ward, Ben McGraw and Russell R. Pate

This study evaluated the validity of the Previous Day Physical Activity Recall (PDPAR) self-report instrument in quantifying after-school physical activity behavior in fifth-grade children. Thirty-eight fifth-grade students (mean age, 10.8 ± 0.1; 52.6% female; 26.3% African American) from two urban elementary schools completed the PDPAR after wearing a CSA WAM 7164 accelerometer for a day. The mean within-subject correlation between self-reported MET level and total counts for each 30-min block was 0.57 (95% C.I., 0.51–0.62). Self-reported mean MET level during the after-school period and the number of 30-min blocks with activity rated at ≥ 6 METs were significantly correlated with the CSA outcome variables. Validity coefficients for these variables ranged from 0.35 to 0.43 (p < .05). Correlations between the number of 30-min blocks with activity rated at ≥ 3 METs and the CSA variables were positive but failed to reach statistical significance (r = 0.19–0.23). The PDPAR provides moderately valid estimates of relative participation in vigorous activity and mean MET level in fifth-grade children. Caution should be exercised when using the PDPAR to quantify moderate physical activity in preadolescent children.

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Karin Pfeiffer, Natalie Colabianchi, Marsha Dowda, Dwayne Porter, James Hibbert and Russell R. Pate

Background:

In adults, associations between church attendance and positive health behaviors exist; however, similar evidence among children and youth is lacking. The purposes of this investigation were to examine the associations between physical activity (PA) and church attendance, PA and use of church as a PA facility, and PA and proximity to churches among those who use church as a PA facility (while addressing racial and geographical differences).

Methods:

High school girls (N = 915, age = 17.7 ± 0.6 years, 56% African American) completed the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall and surveys including demographics and use of PA facilities. Geographic Information Systems data were used to spatially examine the number of churches within a 0.75-mile street network buffer around girls’ homes. Associations were examined using mixed model analyses controlling for demographic factors.

Results:

For the overall sample, total METs (56 versus 52) and proportion of girls meeting PA guidelines (62% vs. 52%) were significantly higher in church attendees versus nonattendees. Among participants who used facilities, having more churches close to home was associated with more PA.

Conclusions:

Church attendance and use are correlates of physical activity that should be further explored and addressed in future intervention research with adolescent girls.

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Earl Smith and Angela Hattery

There have been many discussions about diversity and the value that it brings to the workplace (Ely & Thomas, 2001). Although sport has been deemed a model of diversity, where people of different races and ethnicities comingle as participants and spectators, there is a serious disconnect between perceptions of this diversity and the reality that defines the lack of racial diversity in the management (i.e., coaching and leadership) of sport. The purpose of this essay is to provide an exploration and analysis of the varied ways in which race may influence sport management experiences and opportunities. We frame this analysis through race relation theory, symbolic racism theory, social distance theory, and the concepts of segregation and power. The inferences and implications of our essay are centered on the undercurrent of the status of African American men in sport leadership, who are severely under-represented despite their prominent contribution to the financial vitality of the sport industry as players. The essay concludes with several policies and practices for improving racial diversity in sport management.

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Bhibha M. Das, Melanie Sartore-Baldwin and Matthew T. Mahar

Background:

A significant literature links race and socioeconomic status with physical inactivity and negative health outcomes. The aim of this study was to explore physical activity (PA) perceptions of an underserved, lower socioeconomic minority sector of the workforce.

Methods:

Two focus groups were conducted to examine university housekeepers’ perceptions of physical activity. Demographic and anthropometric data were also obtained.

Results:

Participants (N = 12; 100% female, 100% African-American) overwhelmingly associated PA with traditional exercise (eg, going to a gym). The most important barrier to PA was the perception of being active on the job, thus not needing to do leisure time PA. The most important perceived benefit to PA was improvement of physical and mental health. Employees perceived that a university investment in employees’ health might improve morale, especially within low-pay employee sectors where low levels of job satisfaction may be present.

Conclusions:

Although perceived benefits to PA in this population are consistent with other employee sectors, perceived barriers to PA may be unique to this sector of the workforce. PA promotion programs should focus on providing resources as well as guidelines that demonstrate the need for PA outside of the workplace setting. Such programs may improve employee health, morale, and productivity.

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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.

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Peter Mulhall, Janet Reis and Shahana Begum

Background:

Early adolescence is developmental period when youth begin to shift exercise and physical activity patterns toward increased sedentary living. The major causes and contributing factors to this change are poorly understood. This study examines the relationship between sociodemographic factors, behavioral and family factors that influence physical activity patterns of middle grades students.

Methods:

The 1578 youth ranged in age from 12 (22%) to 13 (78%) and were divided between white (65%), African American (19%), and Hispanic (16%) subpopulations, with 37% overall qualifying for reduced-price or free school lunches. The assumptions for Analysis of Covariance versus Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were examined, with the final results reported separately for attitudes toward exercise as predictors and sociodemographic variables and measures of family functioning as predictors.

Results:

Positive attitudes were more strongly associated than were negative attitudes with exercise. Of the categorical predictors, student gender and family involvement with fitness had the most statistically significant associations with self reported exercise (6 for gender and 5 for family involvement with fitness).

Conclusions:

The results of this analysis of a diverse and large sample of young adolescents are placed in the context of family leisure and work time in our “hurried” culture.

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Ya-Wen Hsu, Chih-Ping Chou, Britni R. Belcher, Selena T. Nguyen-Rodriguez, Marc J. Weigensberg, Arianna D. McClain and Donna Spruijt-Metz

While most studies have focused on investigating the preventive effects of physical activity on metabolic risk, the longitudinal impacts of metabolic syndrome (MetS) on activity levels is poorly understood. This study aims to examine the influence of MetS on initial activity levels and the trajectory of activity levels in Latina and African American female children over 12 months (n = 55, 9 ± 1 years). Metabolic measures, including fat and lean tissue mass by BodPod, fasting glucose, lipids, blood pressure, and waist circumference, were collected at baseline. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary behavior by accelerometry were collected on a quarterly basis. There were no significant differences in either initial activity levels by MetS status (Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity: 33 ± 12 mins/day for MetS, 48 ± 28 mins/day for Non-MetS, p = .12; sedentary behavior: 408 ± 57 mins/day for MetS, 421 ± 72 mins/day for Non-MetS, p = .67). Longitudinal declines in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (p = .038) and increases in sedentary behavior (p = .003) were found. Daily sedentary behavior increased by 82.64 more minutes in youth with MetS than in those without over one year (p = .015). This study yields the first evidence of the adverse effect of MetS on sedentary behavior. Targeted intervention strategies to reduce progressive sedentariness evident in minority youth with MetS are warranted.