Interactive Effects of Built Environment and Psychosocial Attributes on Physical Activity: A Test of Ecological Models
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The principle of cross-level interactions of influence on behavior in ecological models is seldom studied.
To examine built environment × psychosocial interactive effects on physical activity.
Multi-level mixed regression analyses used data from the Neighborhood Quality of Life Study conducted in neighborhoods in two US regions (n = 2,199 adults). Outcomes were (1) objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, (2) reported transport walking, and (3) leisure-walking. Conceptually matched built environment variables were analyzed for domain-specific outcomes.
With leisure walking as the outcome, built environment × psychosocial interactions were significant in 7 of 20 models tested. Directions of interactions were consistent, indicating a stronger built environment–leisure walking association in adults with less favorable psychosocial status. Little evidence supported such interactions with objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity or transport walking as outcomes.
The results imply that the built environment may exert stronger influence on adults who are not psychologically predisposed to be active.
KeywordsInteraction Moderator Psychosocial Physical activity Ecological models
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