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How socio-economic status contributes to participation in leisure-time physical activity

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  • Cerin, Ester
  • Leslie, Eva

Abstract

The aim of this cross-sectional study was to identify individual, social, and environmental contributors (mediators) to individual- and area-level differences in leisure-time physical activity across socio-economic groups. A two-stage stratified sampling design was used to recruit 20-65 year old adults (NÂ =Â 2194) living in 154 census collection districts of Adelaide, Australia (overall response rate: 12%). Participants completed two surveys six months apart (response rate on the second survey: 83%). Individual-level socio-economic status (SES) was assessed using self-report measures on educational attainment, household income, and household size. Area-level SES was assessed using census data on median household income and household size for each selected census district. Bootstrap generalized linear models were used to examine associations between SES, potential mediators, and leisure-time physical activity. The product-of-coefficient test was used to estimate mediating effects. All SES measures were independently associated with potential individual and social mediators of the SES-activity relationships. Individual- and area-level income was also associated with perceived neighborhood attributes. Self-efficacy and social support for physical activity explained virtually all of the differences in physical activity across educational attainment groups. Physical barriers to walking and access to public open space contributed in part to the explanation of differences in recreational walking across income groups. Yet, self-efficacy and social support were the key mediators of the observed relationships between individual- and area-level income and physical activity. This study suggests that in order to increase physical activity participation in the more disadvantaged segments of the population, comprehensive, multilevel interventions targeting activity-related attitudes and skills as well as social and physical environments are needed.

Suggested Citation

  • Cerin, Ester & Leslie, Eva, 2008. "How socio-economic status contributes to participation in leisure-time physical activity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(12), pages 2596-2609, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:66:y:2008:i:12:p:2596-2609
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McNeill, Lorna Haughton & Kreuter, Matthew W. & Subramanian, S.V., 2006. "Social Environment and Physical activity: A review of concepts and evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 1011-1022, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hearst, Mary O. & Sirard, John R. & Forsyth, Ann & Parker, Emily D. & Klein, Elizabeth G. & Green, Christine G. & Lytle, Leslie A., 2013. "The relationship of area-level sociodemographic characteristics, household composition and individual-level socioeconomic status on walking behavior among adults," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 149-157.
    2. Legh-Jones, Hannah & Moore, Spencer, 2012. "Network social capital, social participation, and physical inactivity in an urban adult population," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(9), pages 1362-1367.
    3. Cerin, Ester & Leslie, Eva & Owen, Neville, 2009. "Explaining socio-economic status differences in walking for transport: An ecological analysis of individual, social and environmental factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(6), pages 1013-1020, March.
    4. Hyytinen, Ari & Lahtonen, Jukka, 2013. "The effect of physical activity on long-term income," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 129-137.
    5. Chau-kiu Cheung & Joseph Yu-shek Cheng, 2016. "Resources and Norms as Conditions for Well-Being in Hong Kong," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(2), pages 757-775, March.
    6. Venn, Danielle & Strazdins, Lyndall, 2017. "Your money or your time? How both types of scarcity matter to physical activity and healthy eating," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 98-106.
    7. Lunn, Peter D., 2010. "The sports and exercise life-course: A survival analysis of recall data from Ireland," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 711-719, March.
    8. Cohen, Deborah A. & Han, Bing & Derose, Kathryn Pitkin & Williamson, Stephanie & Marsh, Terry & Rudick, Jodi & McKenzie, Thomas L., 2012. "Neighborhood poverty, park use, and park-based physical activity in a Southern California city," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2317-2325.

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