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REFERENCE: Zakarian, J. M., Hovell, M. F., Hofstetter, C. R., Sallis, J. F., Keating, K. J. (1994). Correlates of vigorous exercise in a predominantly low SES and minority high school population. Preventive Medicine, 23, 314-321.

Background. This study identifies correlates of vigorous exercise among minority and low-socioeconomic-status adolescents.

Methods. Ninth and 11th grade students completed 1,634 questionnaires regarding vigorous exercise and possible correlates.

Results. While 76% of students participated in vigorous exercise 3 or more times per week (the year 2000 goal for the nation), only 55% participated in vigorous exercise 3 or more times per week outside of school. A substantial minority of students (20%) did not participate in any vigorous exercise outside of school, and 11% did not participate in any vigorous exercise at all. Males and 9th graders participated in significantly more vigorous exercise than did females and 11th graders both in school physical education and outside of school. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses with 28 independent variables were computed separately for males (R = 0.44, F(28,625) = 5.27, P < 0.001) and females (R = 0.45, F(28,622) = 5.56, P < 0.001). Correlates were similar for both groups and included self-efficacy, family, and friend support.

Conclusions. Results suggest that among minority and lower socioeconomic status adolescents the prevalence of vigorous exercise decreases with age or when students are not required to participate in school physical education and that social factors may be instrumental for sustaining vigorous exercise.

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