218491 Behavioral, Psychological, Socio-Cultural and Environmental Factors related to Gender Differences in Children's Physical Activity

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 12:45 PM - 1:00 PM

Noe C. Crespo, PhD, MPH, MS , School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Exercise and Wellness Program, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Kirsten Corder, PhD , Institute of Metabolic Science, Prevention Group, MRC Epidemiology Unit, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Simon J. Marshall, PhD , Center for Behavioral and Community Health Studies (BACH), San Diego State Univeristy, San Diego, CA
Gregory J. Norman, PhD , Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA
James F. Sallis, PhD , Active Living Research, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Kevin Patrick, MD, MS , San Diego Prevention Research Center, University of CA, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
John P. Elder, PhD, MPH , Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Barbara Baquero, PhD, MPH , Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
BACKGROUND: Boys are more physically active than girls, yet no single study has examined a comprehensive array of factors that sufficiently explain these differences. The purpose of this study was to examine multilevel factors that may explain gender differences in children's moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). METHODS: A multilevel framework and cross-sectional design was used. Child seven-day accelerometry and a parent survey were assessed for 116 child/parent dyads living in San Diego County: parents (mean age 37.76.1 yrs; 96.6% female; 38.8% Hispanic) and children (mean age 8.10.7 yrs; 54.3% female; 43% Hispanic). Hierarchical linear regression was used to assess the variance explained in MVPA by gender and multiple demographic, psychological, behavioral and environmental variables. Analyses were also stratified by gender. RESULTS: Boys were more active than girls (MVPA min/day: 65.2 vs. 54.1; p=0.01) and a greater proportion of boys met the PA guidelines (32.1% vs. 11.1%; p<0.01). Child's age and physical education (PE) frequency (days/week) explained 14.3% of gender differences in MVPA. Among girls, more frequent participating in PE (days/week) was associated with greater MVPA (p<0.01). Among boys, parent perceptions of child's sports ability (p<0.01), greater parent support for child's PA (p<0.01), greater parent explicit PA modeling and number of PA equipment/facilities at home were associated with greater MVPA (p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Parental factors, participation in PE and PA equipment at home were differentially associated with boy's and girl's MVPA. Health promotion programs should consider these gender-specific factors in order to promote PA participation in both genders.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the factors that explain gender differences in children's physical activity.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Children

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered