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Ann Behav Med. 2014 Feb;47(1):17-27. doi: 10.1007/s12160-013-9570-y.

Physical activity disparities in heterosexual and sexual minority youth ages 12-22 years old: roles of childhood gender nonconformity and athletic self-esteem.

Author information

1
Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA, 02115, USA, jerel.calzo@childrens.harvard.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Physical activity is an important health determinant. Little is known about sexual orientation differences in physical activity and their psychosocial determinants.

PURPOSE:

The aim of this study is to examine adolescent and young adult hours/week of moderate/vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and team sports participation by sexual orientation and investigate contributions of gender nonconformity and low athletic self-esteem to possible sexual orientation differences.

METHODS:

Analysis of data from 5,272 males and 7,507 females from 1999 to 2005 waves of the US Growing Up Today Study (ages 12-22 years).

RESULTS:

Sexual minorities (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, mostly heterosexual) reported 1.21-2.62 h/week less MVPA (p < 0.01) and were 46-76 % less likely to participate in team sports than same-gender heterosexuals. Gender nonconformity and athletic self-esteem accounted for 46-100 % of sexual orientation MVPA differences.

CONCLUSIONS:

Physical activity contexts should be modified to welcome sexual minority males and females. Targeting intolerance of gender nonconformity and fostering athletic self-esteem may mitigate sexual orientation MVPA disparities.

PMID:
24347406
PMCID:
PMC3945417
DOI:
10.1007/s12160-013-9570-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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