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Ann Behav Med. 2013 Feb;45 Suppl 1:S142-50. doi: 10.1007/s12160-012-9437-7.

Predictors of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in African American young adolescents.

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  • 1Division of Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1717 11th Avenue South, MT 618, Birmingham, AL 35205, USA.



African American adolescents residing in the South are at increased risk for obesity and physical inactivity, yet our understanding of potential influences is limited.


Using an ecological framework, this study explored multilevel predictors (individual, family, home, and neighborhood environment) of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among 116 African American adolescents (ages 12-16).


Adolescents and their parents completed self-report surveys for hypothesized predictors. Youth physical activity was measured using accelerometry.


In multiple regression models, decreased daily MVPA was associated with female sex (β = -24.27, p < 0.0001). Family social support (β = 1.07, p = 0.004) and adolescent self efficacy for PA (β = 6.89, p = 0.054) were positively associated with daily MVPA.


Adolescent demographics along with family social support and self-efficacy influence younger African American adolescent physical activity. Further exploration of the complex interaction of multiple levels of influence is needed to develop appropriate interventions for this vulnerable group.

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