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J Sch Health. 2002 Aug;72(6):250-5.

Differences in physical activity between black and white girls living in rural and urban areas.

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  • 1College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.


This study examined the relationship of race and rural/urban setting to physical, behavioral, psychosocial, and environmental factors associated with physical activity. Subjects included 1,668 eighth-grade girls from 31 middle schools: 933 from urban settings, and 735 from rural settings. Forty-six percent of urban girls and 59% of rural girls were Black. One-way and two-way ANOVAs with school as a covariate were used to analyze the data. Results indicated that most differences were associated with race rather than setting. Black girls were less active than White girls, reporting significantly fewer 30-minute blocks of both vigorous and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Black girls also spent more time watching television, and had higher BMIs and greater prevalence of overweight than White girls. However, enjoyment of physical education and family involvement in physical activity were greater among Black girls than White girls. Rural White girls and urban Black girls had more favorable attitudes toward physical activity. Access to sports equipment, perceived safety of neighborhood, and physical activity self-efficacy were higher in White girls than Black girls.

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