Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Curriculum & Instruction


Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Kontos, Anthony; Kieff, Judith


This study examined personal, social, and demographic factors related to physical activity (PA) level and body mass index (BMI) in adolescent African American (AA) females. The participants were 211 AA females from selected parochial schools in a city in the southern U.S. Participants completed the Physical Activity Determinant Scale (PADS: Mitchell & Kontos, 2002), the Three Day Physical Activity Recall (3DPAR: Weston, Petosa & Pate, 1997), the Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire (LTEQ: Godin & Shepard, 1985), and demographic items. Height and weight measures were taken to assess BMI. Results from logistic regression indicated that the personal factor was a significant (p<.001, ExpB=4.65) predictor of PA level, and the social factor (p<.05, ExpB=1.43), age (p<.05, ExpB=.74), and age at menarche (p<.05, ExpB=.80) were significant predictors of low BMI for age. Results from ANOVA revealed that late maturers had significantly (p<.05) lower BMI scores, but were no more physically active than early and average maturers. Findings suggest that female adolescent AAs exert more control over personal PA factors, than social PA factors, such as peer pressure and sport socialization. Additionally, BMI was not related to PA for this sample, suggesting that BMI may be influenced by other factors not investigated in the current study. Based on these findings, potential interventions should focus on aspects of the personal factor for increasing PA in adolescent AA females. Future investigations are needed to further explore the relationship between personal, social, and demographic factors, and PA and BMI for adolescent AA females.


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