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Author: johnson, wilfred eleazor ii
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1. Johnson, Wilfred Eleazor Ii
Which Demographic, Social, and Environmental Factors Are Associated with the Eating Habits and Exercise Patterns of Racial and Ethnic Minority Adolescents
Ph.D. Dissertation, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, 2010
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT)
Keyword(s): Adolescent Behavior; Body Mass Index (BMI); Ethnic Differences; Exercise; Health Factors; Minorities; Physical Activity (see also Exercise); Racial Differences; Social Influences

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Research focused on the factors that contribute to the practice of health promoting behaviors by racial and ethnic minority adolescents has been limited and inconclusive. The purpose of this study was to identify a subset of factors, including demographic, social, and environmental factors that are highly correlated with differences in the eating habits and exercise patterns of racial and ethnic minority adolescents. The study is of public health significance as the results may be used to improve the methods and strategies currently in practice to reduce and eliminate the disparities in health for racial and ethnic minorities.

The sample was drawn from the final sample size for the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort, which numbered 8,984. The study tested the hypothesis that differences in health-promoting behaviors among racial and ethnic minority groups are related to differences in the associations between the influential factors and the health-promoting behavior by racial and ethnic minority group. Body Mass Index was used to measure adolescent health promoting behaviors such as diet and exercise. Multiple imputation and univariate forward stepwise multiple regression analyses found that associations between demographic, social, and environmental factors and the eating habits and exercise patterns of minority adolescents varied by racial and ethnic minority subpopulation.

Study results suggest that policies, programs, and research intent on reducing and/or eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities must capture, analyze, and evaluate information at the racial and ethnic subpopulation level to capture differences between subpopulations. A small sample size due to the removal of non-respondents, the exclusion of health promoting behavior variables from the study due to high non-response rates, and the exclusion of some racial and ethnic subpopulations due to inadequate numbers all served as limitations of the study. Future resear ch should further study the differential impact of the various factors included in the present study, as well as those not examined here, on the dietary and exercise habits of several racial and ethnic adolescent subpopulations and use the findings to inform research, policy and program efforts to reduce and eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.

Bibliography Citation
Johnson, Wilfred Eleazor Ii. Which Demographic, Social, and Environmental Factors Are Associated with the Eating Habits and Exercise Patterns of Racial and Ethnic Minority Adolescents. Ph.D. Dissertation, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, 2010.