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J Adolesc Health. 2002 Apr;30(4):253-61.

Parental correlates of physical activity in a racially/ethnically diverse adolescent sample.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454, USA. mcguire@epi.umn.edu



To evaluate relationships between parents' and adolescents' physical activity and television usage and whether these relationships differed among adolescents from different racial/ethnic backgrounds.


Adolescents and their parents were separately asked to report information about their eating, exercising, and weight-related behaviors. Among the 900 adolescents, 477 were girls and 423 were boys; 60% were in high school; 29% were white, 23% were black, 21% were Asian, 14% were Hispanic, and 13% were considered mixed or other race/ethnicity.


Parents' reported encouragement was positively related to physical activity in white (r = 0.39; p <.001) and black boys (r = 0.26; p =.007), and girls (all race/ethnic groups combined: r = 0.15; p <.001). Parents' television time was positively related to television time in Hispanic boys (r = 0.40; p =.009) but negatively related to television time in black boys (r = -0.23; p =.036). Parents' concern about their own fitness was negatively related to television time in white girls (r = -0.19; p =.029) but positively related in black girls (r = 0.23; p =.030).


This study found significant, although modest, relationships between parents' and adolescents' physical activity attitudes and behaviors. Many of these relationships differed by race/ethnicity. Results from the present and previous studies suggest that factors other than parents' behavior and support explain adolescents' physical activity behaviors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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