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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Physical activity behaviors and influences among Chinese-American children aged 9-13 years: A qualitative study

Author
item Diep, Cassandra - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item Leung, Randall - Boston University
item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe
item Gor, Beverly - City Of Houston
item Baranowski, Tom - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/27/2016
Publication Date: 7/6/2016
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62863
Citation: Diep, C.S., Leung, R., Thompson, D.J., Gor, B.J., Baranowski, T. 2016. Physical activity behaviors and influences among Chinese-American children aged 9-13 years: A qualitative study. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. doi:10.1007/s10903-016-0457-4.

Interpretive Summary: Low physical activity is a major health issue among Chinese Americans. This study explored Chinese–American children's physical activity behaviors and influencing factors. Children of Chinese or Taiwanese descent were interviewed to understand their favorite sports or physical activities, physical activity environments, and influences on their physical activity. Major themes included: (1) team sports, particularly basketball, were common as favorite sports or activities; (2) physical activity occurred mostly at school or an after-school setting; and (3) family and friends played a major role in physical activity. The amount of food (e.g. rice) and eating the right foods (e.g. vegetables) were mentioned as providing the necessary energy, especially from higher socioeconomic status families. Interventions to promote physical activity among Chinese–American children should emphasize team sports and encourage physical activity in schools, but also explore ways to involve families outside of school.

Technical Abstract: Low physical activity is a major health issue among Chinese Americans. This study explored Chinese–American children's physical activity behaviors and influencing factors. Twenty-five children of Chinese or Taiwanese descent were interviewed to understand their favorite sports or physical activities, physical activity environments, and influences on their physical activity. All were between the ages of 9 and 13. Interviews were transcribed and coded using thematic data analysis procedures. Major themes included: (1) team sports, particularly basketball, were commonly listed as favorite sports or activities; (2) physical activity occurred mostly at school or an after-school setting; and (3) family played a major role in physical activity. Some trends/differences were detected based on age, sex, and socioeconomic status. Interventions to promote physical activity among Chinese–American children should emphasize team sports and encourage physical activity in schools, but also explore ways to involve families outside of school.