Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 93, Issue 6, pp 940–952 | Cite as

Is There a Relationship Between Perceived Neighborhood Contentedness and Physical Activity in Young Men and Women

  • Michael C. Bazaco
  • Mark A. Pereira
  • Stephen R. Wisniewski
  • Janice C. Zgibor
  • Thomas J. Songer
  • Jeffrey D. Burke
  • Anthony FabioEmail author


The relationship between perceived neighborhood contentedness and physical activity was evaluated in the Add Health study population. Wave I includes 20,745 respondents (collected between 1994 and 1995) and wave II includes 14,738 (71 %) of these same students (collected in 1996). Multinomial logistic regression was used to evaluate this relationship in both wave I and wave II of the sample. Higher levels of Perceived Neighborhood Contentedness were associated with higher reports of physical activity in both males and females and in both waves. For every one-point increment in PNS, males were 1.3 times as likely to report being highly physically active than low (95 % CI 1.23–1.37) in wave 1 and 1.25 times as likely in wave 2 (95 % CI 1.17–1.33). Females were 1.17 (95 % CI 1.12–1.22) times as likely to report being highly active than low and 1.22 times as likely in wave 2 (95 % CI 1.17–1.27) with every one-point increment. PNC appears to be significantly associated with physical activity in adolescents. Involving the community in the development of intervention programs could help to raise the contentedness of adolescents in these communities.


Neighborhood safety Physical activity Epidemiology Social cohesion Adolescent health 



This research uses data from Add Health, a program project directed by Kathleen Mullan Harris and designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and funded by grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 23 other federal agencies and foundations. Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Information on how to obtain the Add Health data files is available on the Add Health website ( No direct support was received from grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis.


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael C. Bazaco
    • 1
  • Mark A. Pereira
    • 2
  • Stephen R. Wisniewski
    • 1
  • Janice C. Zgibor
    • 1
  • Thomas J. Songer
    • 1
  • Jeffrey D. Burke
    • 3
  • Anthony Fabio
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Department of EpidemiologyPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.The University of Minnesota School of Public Health Division of Epidemiology and Community HealthMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicPittsburghUSA

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