Meeting physical activity guidelines is associated with positive mental, physical, and social health. However, most adolescent girls do not meet the recommended level of physical activity, with Latina girls even less likely than white girls to do so. Partnership for Girls (PG) sought to improve physical activity (PA) and reduce sedentary behaviors to prevent obesity and obesity-related health disparities among low-income Latina adolescent girls attending Westside San Antonio schools. This study utilizes mixed-methods data—qualitative formative assessments with parents of adolescent girls to gain further insight on the PA needs of Latina girls, and standard quantitative survey assessments to examine barriers and facilitators to PA from the perspective of the Latina girls. Results from the parent focus groups identify safety, cost, and neighborhood structure, such as traffic, as salient barriers to physical activity. In alignment with the focus groups, the feasibility study found that the middle school Latinas’ neighborhood environment was a major barrier to physical activity. Policymakers and planners must address the structural obstacles, such as neighborhood structure and safety concerns, to address physical activity disparities among Latina middle school girls.
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McDaniel, Marisol D.; Ocegueda, Ana Sofia; Morales-Campos, Daisy Y. PhD; and Parra-Medina, Deborah
"Mixed-methods assessment of barriers to physical activity for middle school Latina girls,"
Health Behavior Research: