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Am J Health Promot. 1999 Mar-Apr;13(4):207-14.

Psychosocial and demographic correlates of television viewing.

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Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg 24061-0436, USA.



The present study was grounded in the notion that previously identified physical activity determinants were associated in reverse with television viewing. Identifying demographic and psychosocial correlates and other potential determinants of television viewing may allow for the development and conceptualization of models and interventions to reduce sedentary behavior.


Cross-sectional data from self-report measures were analyzed using multiple hierarchical regression.


Data were collected from 1995 to 1996 on seniors attending a large public university in southern California.


Subjects were 321 female and 255 male university seniors attending a public university in southern California. The sample's ethnic distribution was 53.8% European-American, 16.3% Latino, 16.6% Asian/Pacific Islander, 16.1% African-American, and 4.3% other.


Typical television viewing practices on weekdays and weekends were assessed using self-report items. Physical activity determinants were assessed using self-report measures derived from social cognitive theory and the transtheoretical model of behavior change.


The variables explaining a significant amount of variance after controlling for ethnicity and employment status in females were barriers to physical activity (p < .05), body image dissatisfaction (p < .01), and processes of change (p < .02). The entire model for females captured 16% of the variance, with the psychosocial variables accounting for 8% of the variance. The significant variables in the male model were quality of life (p < .01) and grade point average (p < .03). The full model accounted for 15% of the variance, with nondemographic variables accounting for 5% of the variance in television viewing.


Relationships between television viewing and potential determinants were found. However, additional variables that may influence the amount of television viewing need to be conceptualized and investigated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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