Sociocultural perspectives of physical activity patterns in American adolescents: 1. Association patterns of health risk behaviors 2. Effects of peer influence Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Liu, Ying
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Nutrition
  • Promoting healthy lifestyles and increasing physical activity levels in adolescents has long-term effects to prevent a series of chronic diseases. As part of daily activities, physical activity has sociocultural attributes. However, in the etiological model of adolescent physical activity, how physical activity is affected by its sociocultural attributes is understudied. This study examines adolescent physical activity as a social behavior and investigates its social determinants. The objectives are to find out how physical activity associates with substance use behaviors; whether race/ethnicity affects the association patterns of physical activity and substance use behaviors both at the individual level and at the institutional level; whether interpersonal relationship (friendship) affects the physical activity levels, and whether body weight status of friends modify this effects. This study contributes to the understanding of the non-linear association patterns of physical activity and substance uses behaviors in American adolescents, thus showing the necessity to improving physical activity through promoting healthy lifestyles. It highlights the necessity of appreciation and incorporation of racial/ethic specific cultures for better communication between health educators and target population, and the importance to reduce the negative impacts of persisting school / residential segregation on shaping adolescent health behaviors. It proves the possibility of using adolescent friendship to improve physical activity in adolescents with consideration of type of physical activity and type of friendship features. The cross-sectional study examined the association patterns of health behaviors in 19331 adolescents aged 11-22 in years 1994-1995 from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of friendship and physical activity was conducted in the subsample (n=3072) of the Add Health using data from 1994-1995 and 1995-1996. A self-reported physical activity/inactivity, substance use behaviors, and friends' name were obtained. Survey information of paired friends was linked through assigned identification number. Other pertinent information was also collected.
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  • Popkin, Barry
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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