Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 769–780

Physical Activity Participation by Parental Language Use in 4th, 8th, and 11th Grade Students in Texas, USA

  • Andrew E. Springer
  • Kayan Lewis
  • Steven H. Kelder
  • Maria E. Fernandez
  • Cristina S. Barroso
  • Deanna M. Hoelscher
Original Research


Research on physical activity (PA) by level of acculturation in Hispanic children is limited and findings have been mixed. We examined PA participation by primary language used with parents in a representative sample of 4th, 8th, and 11th grade Texas public school students. Mixed-effects regression models were conducted using cross-sectional data from the 2004–2005 School Physical Activity and Nutrition Study (n = 22,049). Self-reported PA was compared among three language-ethnic groups: Spanish-Hispanic (SH) (referent); English-Hispanic (EH); and English-Other (EO). EH and/or EO girls were generally between 1.25 and 2.58 [OR] times more likely to participate in PA across grade levels, with the largest differences found for school sports in 8th grade girls. EH and EO 8th grade boys were 1.71 (CI: 1.40, 2.10) and 2.06 (CI: 1.68, 2.51) times, respectively, more likely to participate in school sports. Findings indicate important disparities in Spanish-speaking Hispanic children’s PA participation.


Children Adolescents Physical activity Acculturation Spanish language 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew E. Springer
    • 1
  • Kayan Lewis
    • 2
  • Steven H. Kelder
    • 1
  • Maria E. Fernandez
    • 3
  • Cristina S. Barroso
    • 4
  • Deanna M. Hoelscher
    • 1
  1. 1.Michael & Susan Dell Center for Advancement of Healthy LivingUniversity of Texas School of Public HealthAustinUSA
  2. 2.Texas Department of State Health ServicesOffice of Program Decision SupportAustinUSA
  3. 3.Center for Health Promotion and Prevention ResearchUniversity of Texas School of Public HealthHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Hispanic Health Research Center, Michael & Susan Dell Center for Advancement of Healthy LivingUniversity of Texas School of Public HealthBrownsvilleUSA

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