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1.  Contribution of Athletic Identity to Child and Adolescent Physical Activity 
Identity theorists maintain that domain-specific self-concepts help explain the differential investment of people’s time and effort in various activities.
This study examined the contribution of athletic identity and three key demographic variables to physical activity and sports team participation.
Students in Grades 4–5 (n=391, mean age 9.9 years, range 8–13 years, collected in 2003) and Grades 7–8 (n=948, mean age 13.6 years, range 11–15 years, collected in 2002 and 2006) completed the 40-item Athletic Identity Questionnaire, which measures self-perceptions of athletic appearance; competence; importance of physical activity and sports; and encouragement for activity from parents, teachers, and friends. Hierarchic multiple regression analyses in 2008 assessed the effects of athletic identity, race/ethnicity group, gender, and overweight status on 7-day moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and organized sport team participation in each age group.
In children and adolescents, the global score of athletic identity was independently, positively related to MVPA (p<0.0001, p<0.0001, respectively) and team participation (p<0.0001, p<0.0001, respectively), after controlling for demographic variables. More variance in MVPA was explained in children (23%) than in adolescents (5%), in contrast to team sports (5% in children, 15% in adolescents). In the subscale analyses, positive relationships for appearance, competence, importance, and parental encouragement persisted independent of demographic factors.
Results support the role of athletic self-concept in promoting physical activity and organized sport participation in children and adolescents.
PMCID: PMC2759382  PMID: 19595559
2.  Gender differences in sociodemographic and behavioral influences of physical activity in Mexican-origin adolescents 
Understanding the factors that contribute to physical activity (PA) in Mexican-origin adolescents is essential to the design of effective efforts to enhance PA participation in this population.
Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify sociodemographic and behavioral correlates of self-reported PA in school and community settings in 1,154 Mexican-origin adolescents aged 12–17 years in Houston, TX.
The majority of adolescents were born in the US (74%), approximately half (51%) were overweight or obese, and nearly three-quarters (73%) watched more than 2 hours of weekday television. Similarities and differences by setting and gender were observed in the relationships between sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics and PA. In boys, parental education and attending physical education (PE) were positively associated with PA across multiple PA outcomes. Adolescent linguistic acculturation was inversely associated with participation in community sports, whereas parental linguistic acculturation was positively associated with PA at school. In girls, PA in school and community settings was inversely associated with TV viewing and positively associated with PE participation.
These findings highlight similarities and differences in correlates of PA among boys and girls, and point towards potential sources of opportunities as well as disparities for PA behaviors in Mexican-origin adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3250565  PMID: 21952224
Mexican American; acculturation; physical education
3.  Parent-child relationship of directly measured physical activity 
Studies on parent-child correlations of physical activity have been mixed. Few studies have examined concurrent temporal patterns of physical activity and sedentary behaviors in parents and children using direct measures. The purpose of this study was to examine parent-child activity correlations by gender, day of week, and time of day, using accelerometers - a method for direct assessment of physical activity.
Accelerometers were used to assess physical activity and sedentary time in 45 fathers, 45 mothers and their children (23 boys, 22 girls, mean age 9.9 years) over the course of 4 days (Thursday - Sunday). Participants were instructed to wear accelerometers for 24 hours per day. Data from accelerometers were aggregated into waking hours on weekdays and weekends (6:00 am to midnight) and weekday after-school hours (3:00 - 7:00 pm).
Across the 4 days, the mean minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) for fathers was 30.0 (s.d. = 17.3), for mothers was 30.1 (s.d. = 20.1) and for children was 145.47 (s.d. = 51.64). Mothers' and fathers' minutes of MVPA and minutes of sedentary time were positively correlated with child physical activity and sedentary time (all ps < .05, with the exception of mothers' and children's sedentary time on weekdays from 6 am to 12 am). Multivariate linear regression analyses resulted in significant effects between parents and children for MVPA across all time segments. For sedentary activity, significant associations were observed only between father and child on the weekend. Sedentary activity of parents and children were not related for other time segments. Models examining the associations of one or two parents with high levels of MVPA or sedentary time indicated a dose response increase in child activity relative to parent.
Greater parental MVPA was associated with increased child MVPA. In addition, having two parents with higher levels of MVPA was associated with greater levels of activity in children. Sedentary time in children was not as strongly correlated with that of their parents. Findings lend support to the notion that to increase childhood activity levels it may be fruitful to improve physical activity among parents.
PMCID: PMC3062578  PMID: 21385455

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