Determinants of Physical Activity for Latino and White Middle School-Aged Children

Aileen S. Garcia, Shinya Takahashi, Mindy Anderson-Knott, Dipti Dev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Physical activity (PA) has long been acknowledged to contribute health benefits among children. However, research has consistently shown that PA declines as children grow older. Thus, this study examined the factors which are associated to children's PA in order to identify potential barriers to PA. METHODS: Using data from the KidQuest Program, we conducted bivariate and multivariate analyses on survey data collected from fifth to seventh grade students in a small Midwestern city. RESULTS: We found that food knowledge, eating breakfast, and talking with family about eating healthy foods, are positively related to PA. On the other hand, screen time is negatively related to PA. In addition, our results evinced differences between ethnicities and found that Latino children's screen time affects their PA levels more than their white counterpart. CONCLUSIONS: There are different factors which can be tapped to increase PA among middle school-aged children. Given the differences between the Latino and white samples especially in screen time, schools should consider individualized intervention, rather than a “one size fits all” program, to increase PA participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of School Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • KidQuest Program
  • Latino child health
  • middle school children
  • physical activity
  • screen time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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