UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Location-specific psychosocial and environmental correlates of physical activity and sedentary time in young adolescents: preliminary evidence for location-specific approaches from a cross-sectional observational study Ortega, Adrian; Bejarano, Carolina M.; Cushing, Christopher C.; Staggs, Vincent S.; Papa, Amy E.; Steel, Chelsea; Shook, Robin P.; Conway, Terry L.; Saelens, Brian E.; Glanz, Karen; Cain, Kelli L.; Frank, Lawrence D.; Kerr, Jacqueline; Schipperijn, Jasper; Sallis, James F.; Carlson, Jordan A.


Background A better understanding of the extent to which psychosocial and environmental correlates of physical activity are specific to locations would inform intervention optimization. Purpose To investigate cross-sectional associations of location-general and location-specific variables with physical activity and sedentary time in three common locations adolescents spend time. Methods Adolescents (N = 472,Mage = 14.1,SD = 1.5) wore an accelerometer and global positioning systems (GPS) tracker and self-reported on psychosocial (e.g., self-efficacy) and environmental (e.g., equipment) factors relevant to physical activity and sedentary time. We categorized each survey item based on whether it was specific to a location to generate psychosocial and environmental indices that were location-general or specific to either school, non-school, or home location. Physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time were based on time/location match to home, school, or all “other” locations. Mixed-effects models investigated the relation of each index with location-specific activity. Results The location-general and non-school physical activity psychosocial indices were related to greater MVPA at school and “other” locations. The school physical activity environment index was related to greater MVPA and less sedentary time at school. The home activity environment index was related to greater MVPA at home. The non-school sedentary psychosocial index was related to less sedentary time at home. Interactions among indices revealed adolescents with low support on one index benefited (i.e., exhibited more optimal behavior) from high support on another index (e.g., higher scores on the location-general PA psychosocial index moderated lower scores on the home PA environment index). Concurrent high support on two indices did not provide additional benefit. Conclusions No psychosocial or environment indices, including location-general indices, were related to activity in all locations. Most of the location-specific indices were associated with activity in the matching location(s). These findings provide preliminary evidence that psychosocial and environmental correlates of activity are location specific. Future studies should further develop location-specific measures and evaluate these constructs and whether interventions may be optimized by targeting location-specific psychosocial and environmental variables across multiple locations.

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