Examining the moderating role of demographic factors and depressive symptoms in direct and indirect associations between the objective and perceived neighborhood environment and physical activity in three U.S. populations
Over the past twenty years, social ecological models have informed physical activity and public health research and practice. Social ecological models conceptualize individual, social, and environmental influences that operate in combination to affect health behaviors such as physical activity. Evidence is consistent that individual and interpersonal factors, as well as features of the neighborhood built environment (e.g., recreation facilities and trails) are associated with physical activity. Based on limited recent evidence, the perceived neighborhood environment appears to mediate associations between the objective built environment and physical activity. Multilevel correlates of physical activity can also interact across levels of influence within the social ecological framework (e.g., individual and environmental). For instance, psychosocial factors such as depressive symptoms may moderate associations between the objective and perceived neighborhood environment and physical activity. The purpose of this dissertation research was to examine associations between individual, social, and environmental factors and physical activity among three populations residing in the United States (U.S.), test whether the perceived neighborhood environment mediated associations between the objective built environment and physical activity, and assess the extent to which these direct and indirect associations were moderated by demographic factors and depressive symptoms. In Study 1, adults (N=1,195, mean age 44.9±12.5 years, 55.3% female, and 82.0% White) using one of five trails in Massachusetts responded to an intercept survey. Multiple linear and logistic regression were used to examine associations between individual, social, and environmental factors and trail use for recreation and transportation. Age (longer-term users only), trail use with others, travel time to the trail, and trail design were significantly associated with use for recreation (p<.05). Age, gender, trail safety (longer-term users only), travel time to the trail, trail design (younger users only), and trail beauty were associated with use for transportation (p<.05). (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.)
McDonough, Purdue University.
Mental health|Public health|Kinesiology|Psychology
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