Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Child's play: Community solutions for increasing youth physical activity in distinct safety contexts
by Phibbs, Stephanie L., Ph.D., University of Colorado at Denver, 2013, 225; 3562658
Abstract (Summary)

Amid the uniformly low physical activity rates among children in the United State, practical solutions for increasing physical activity (PA) are needed. Whether interventions to increase PA need to account for individual demographic characteristics or safety context is unknown.

Methods: Study Design: This community based participatory research project used mixed methods, including secondary data analyses and concept mapping. Setting: Five demographically diverse, geographically contiguous, urban neighborhoods in Colorado, including one of the largest redevelopments in the United States designed for active living. Measures: Secondary data identified neighborhood safety contexts. Concept mapping participants identified, sorted and rated interventions to increase youth PA. Population: Participants were purposefully sampled households, including equal numbers of black, white and Latino adults from each safety context, and their 10-14 year-old children. Analysis: Cluster analysis using measures of social cohesion, incivilities, discrimination, and fear of crime and traffic safety identified homogenous safety subgroups. ANOVA, multivariable analyses and concept mapping pattern matching were used to compare ratings between safety contexts and demographic groups.

Results: Cluster analyses identified three distinct safety contexts. Concept mapping elicited 330 ideas, 100 of which were randomly selected for participants to sort and rate. Three intervention groupings were identified: 1) activity interventions, 2) safety interventions, and 3) infrastructure/access interventions. Participants residing in less safe contexts, and black and Latino adults, rated all interventions as more needed than participants from the safest context and white adults. Adults residing in the safest context thought infrastructure/access interventions were most needed, while adults from less safe contexts rated safety interventions as most needed. Youth across all contexts thought safety interventions were least needed; activity and infrastructure/access interventions were most needed. Community-led analyses identified that all youth across all contexts wanted safe, free and fun physical activity resources and opportunities.

Discussion: Safety context is an indicator of community need for youth physical activity interventions. Communities recommend framing and implementing interventions that are simultaneously safe, free and fun, rather than focusing exclusively on safety intervention needs that stigmatize neighborhoods. Top rated interventions are consistent with nationally recommended interventions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Main, Deborah S.
Commitee: Dickinson, L. Miriam, Miech, Richard A., Rooks, Ronica N., Scandlyn, Jean N.
School: University of Colorado at Denver
Department: Health and Behavioral Sciences
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-B 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Behavioral psychology, Public health
Keywords: Children, Exercise, Physical activity, Program development, Residence characteristics, Safety
Publication Number: 3562658
ISBN: 9781303104145
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