Black, hispanic, and white girls' perceptions of environmental and social support and enjoyment of physical activity

Mira Grieser, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Brit I. Saksvig, Jung Sun Lee, Gwen M. Felton, Martha Y. Kubik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background This study examines the differences among black, Hispanic, and white adolescent girls in their perceptions surrounding physical activity (PA), including support within the school climate, friend and family social support, and personal enjoyment. Methods Participants included 1466 sixth-grade girls from 36 middle schools across the United States. Participants were 20% black, 21% Hispanic, 47% white, and 12% of other or mixed races. Multivariate analyses were performed on each scale, adjusting for body mass index and free and reduced-price lunch status. Results Results showed racial differences on several variables. Black girls, compared with white girls, perceived significantly lower PA enjoyment (p <.001) and teacher support for PA (p =.004). Hispanic girls experienced less PA enjoyment (p =.003) and perceived less support for PA from boys (p =.001) and their families (p =.008) than white girls. Black girls reported significantly higher levels of physical education (PE) enjoyment than did white girls (p =.003). Conclusions Differences in perceived PA support and enjoyment across race raise questions about why these differences exist and how best to address disparities within interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-320
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume78
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2008

Keywords

  • Adolescent girls
  • Ethnicity
  • Physical activity
  • Social support

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