Online Program

Understanding youth and parent perceived neighborhood environments and the association to health behaviors

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Minal Patel, PhD, MPH, Behavioral Research Program, Health Behaviors and Research Branch, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD
April Oh, PhD, MPH, Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Linda Nebeling, PhD, MPH, RD, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences/Health Behaviors Research Branch/Behaviors Research Program, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD
Background: Built environment (BE) measures such as fast food restaurants (FFRs) are associated with health behaviors primarily in adults, with little research on youth. This study addresses the perceived BE of both youth and parents. Comparing objective and perceived measures can further illuminate BE measurement issues associated with health behaviors.

Methods: Data were collected via the national NCI survey:  Family, Life, Activity, Sun, Health and Eating Study (N=1754 adults, 1667 youth). Univariate analyses described perceived BEs in a 10-15 minute walking distance from homes. Bivariate analyses tested associations with health behaviors such as walking and eating. Further analyses include joining objective BE measures to perceived measures, and assessing their effects on health behaviors, using regression methods in STATA.

Results: Adults and youth reported a high frequency of neighborhood BE measures within walking distance: convenience stores (adults:67.2%, youth:69.5%), supermarkets (adults:56.8%, youth:48.9%), farmers markets (adults:24.0%, youth:17.0%), FFRs (adults:59.9%, youth:58.7%), and other restaurants (adults:56.7%, youth:50.0%). Initial analyses show youth perceptions of neighborhood FFR, and convenience stores were positively related to the frequency of eating at such establishments (p<0.001). Parallel adult analyses did not yield similar results. Further analyses will address differences in perceived and objective BE measures related to health behaviors.

Conclusion: Preliminary results highlight that perceived BE measures may not be related to health behaviors in the same way for parents and youth. However, further analyses are needed to understand differences between perceived and objective measures. These results can assist in strategic planning regarding policy efforts when designing youth targeted BE interventions.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Program planning
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe perceived measures of built environment neighborhood factors expressed by both teens and adults in a national survey. Identify gap areas in the built environment literature related to youth and potential built environment determinants of health. Discuss policy implications of measurement variances in built environment measures from perceived and objective measures related to physical activity and diet behaviors.

Keyword(s): Youth, Built Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on built environment and health behavior research for over a decade, addressing youth behaviors, physical activity, tobacco use, and diet, with 9+ years at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and currently at the National Cancer Institute as a Cancer Prevention Postdoctoral Fellow. I have conducted extensive research addressing social and contextual factors related to health. My doctoral research focused on the built, policy and social environments related to tobacco use.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.