Can school income and racial/ethnic composition explain the racial/ethnic disparity in adolescent physical activity participation?

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.3). 07/2006; 117(6):2158-66. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2005-1920
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Our goal was to determine if racial/ethnic disparities in adolescent boys' and girls' physical activity participation exist and persist once the school attended is considered.
We performed a cross-sectional analysis of 17,007 teens in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Using multivariate linear regression, we examined the association between adolescent self-reported physical activity and individual race/ethnicity stratified by gender, controlling for a wide range of sociodemographic, attitudinal, behavioral, and health factors. We used multilevel analyses to determine if the relationship between race/ethnicity and physical activity varied by the school attended.
Participants attended racially segregated schools; approximately 80% of Hispanic and black adolescent boys and girls attended schools with student populations that were <66% white, whereas nearly 40% of the white adolescents attended schools that were >94% white. Black and Hispanic adolescent girls reported lower levels of physical activity than white adolescent girls. There were more similar levels of physical activity reported in adolescent boys, with black boys reporting slightly more activities. Although black and Hispanic adolescent girls were more likely to attend poorer schools with overall lower levels of physical activity in girls; there was no difference within schools between black, white, and Hispanic adolescent girls' physical activity levels. Within the same schools, both black and Hispanic adolescent boys had higher rates of physical activity when compared with white adolescent boys.
In this nationally representative sample, lower physical activity levels in Hispanic and black adolescent girls were largely attributable to the schools they attended. In contrast, black and Hispanic males had higher activity levels than white males when attending the same schools. Future research is needed to determine the mechanisms through which school environments contribute to racial/ethnic disparities in adolescent physical activity and will need to consider gender differences in these racial/ethnic disparities.

Download full-text


Available from: Sheila Gahagan, May 13, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Social capital has been shown to have positive effects on multiple health outcomes among young people (i.e., obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and infectious diseases). Studies are suggesting that social capital is an important asset for the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents, including for their mental health. We sought to examine the influences of different domains of social capital - in the family, in the neighbourhood, and at school - on levels of psychological distress among high school students in Croatia. Cross-sectional survey of 3427 high school students (1688 males and 1739 females), aged 17-18 years, was carried out in the 2013/14 school year (response rate: 93.8%). Logistic regression was used to examine the influence of family, neighbourhood and school social capital on the risk of high psychological distress, measured by the Kessler-6 scale. Adjusting for age, school, gender, body mass index, self-perceived socioeconomic status, self-rated health and physical activity, high family support in school (OR 0.37; 95% CI: 0.27-0.51), high neighbourhood trust (OR 0.62; 95% CI: 0.53-0.73), high teacher-student interpersonal trust (OR 0.74; 95% CI: 0.62-0.89) and high student interpersonal trust (OR 0.79; 95% CI: 0.65-0.97) was each associated with lower odds of psychological distress. When all of the social capital variables were entered simultaneously, higher social capital in each domain was inversely associated with psychological distress. Family support in school, neighbourhood trust, teacher-student interpersonal trust and student interpersonal trust were significantly inversely associated with psychological distress among adolescents. Intervention and policies that leverage community social capital might serve as means of mental health promotion among youth.
    International Journal of Mental Health Systems 04/2015; 9(1):18. DOI:10.1186/s13033-015-0010-1 · 1.06 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over the past several decades, there has been a sharp increase in obesity across all population groups in the United States. In fact, the United States has one of the highest rates of obesity compared to other countries throughout the world. Obesity has become a national public health concern because it is related to a number of negative health, social, psychological, and economic outcomes. It is particularly concerning because racial/ethnic minorities and populations with the least education and highest poverty rates bear the largest burden of obesity. In addition, disparities in obesity tend to be gendered, with women experiencing the largest disparities in obesity by income, education, and race/ethnicity. In this review, I describe how social inequality is linked to obesity in the United States. I highlight elements of disadvantage at the individual-, family-, school-, and neighborhood-level that are linked to energy intake and expenditure, which are directly related to obesity, and draw from evidence and theories from multiple fields of the social and medical sciences. I also highlight the important role stress may play in linking disadvantage to obesity, particularly for women. I argue that understanding the complex mechanisms and processes that link social inequality to obesity requires multidisciplinary and multilevel frameworks.
    Sociology Compass 03/2011; 5(3):215 - 232. DOI:10.1111/j.1751-9020.2010.00355.x
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To identify the association of individual and school environment factors with overweight among adolescents. Cross-sectional study. Sociodemographic and behavioural information was collected using an anonymous self-administered questionnaire. Indicators on human and physical resources of the schools were based on information collected in interviews with school principals. Overweight was defined based on the BMI Z-score for age and sex recommended by WHO. Logistic regression models were used for statistical analysis. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. By means of a two-stage (classrooms and students) probabilistic sampling, subjects comprised 1632 students enrolled in the last year of primary education of the municipal public school network, stratified by city region. The mean prevalence of overweight at schools was 17·2%, ranging from 0% to 50%. Adolescents more likely to be overweight were those who attended schools without knives and forks or ceramic/glass plates for students in the school refectory (prevalence odds ratio (POR) = 1·40; P = 0·04), those whose head of household had completed between 8 and 10 years of schooling (POR = 1·46; P = 0·03), those who did not live with both parents (POR = 1·24; P = 0·06) and those who had not practised physical activity outside school on at least 1 d in the 7 d before the study (POR = 1·56; P = 0·04). Sociodemographic and behavioural variables of adolescents and school characteristics were associated with overweight, confirming individual and context effects on this health disorder. Studies such as the present one, identifying variables in context, may support actions to prevent overweight among adolescents.
    Public Health Nutrition 05/2011; 14(5):914-22. DOI:10.1017/S1368980010003162 · 2.48 Impact Factor