TitleEffects of socioeconomic status and acculturation on accelerometer-measured moderate to vigorous physical activity among Mexican American adolescents: findings from NHANES 2003-2004.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLee, H, Cardinal, BJ, Loprinzi, PD
JournalJournal of physical activity & health
Date Published2011 Dec 27

BACKGROUND: Socioeconomic status (SES) and acculturation are potential contributors of adolescent physical activity disparity among ethnic groups in the U.S. However, studies relying on self-report physical activity measures have reported inconsistent findings regarding sociocultural predictors of physical activity. Therefore, the current study examined the main and interactive effects of SES and acculturation on accelerometer-measured moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) among Mexican American adolescents. METHOD: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004 was analyzed. Samples of 153 and 169 Mexican American boys and girls, respectively, were analyzed. SES was indicated by poverty-income-ratio (PIR); and acculturation was measured by 5-item English preference scales and adolescent and parental country of birth. Regression models were tested separately for boys and girls. RESULTS: U.S.-born boys compared to immigrants did more MVPA, B=.48, p<.01. On the contrary, the effect of English preference on MVPA in boys was negative (B=-.05, p<.01), and amplified by higher SES (B=-.02, p<.01). For girls, none of the tested variables were significant. CONCLUSIONS: Higher SES was a risk factor for physical inactivity in Mexican American adolescents, by a moderating mechanism. Also, physical activity promotion efforts need to consider English speaking and immigrant Mexican American adolescent boys as a target population.