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  1. Norman, Gregory J. PhD
  2. Adams, Marc A. MPH
  3. Kerr, Jacqueline PhD
  4. Ryan, Sherry PhD
  5. Frank, Lawrence D. PhD
  6. Roesch, Scott C. PhD


Objectivev: This study examined whether multivariate profiles of the neighborhood recreation environment were associated with adolescent physical activity, sedentary time, and obesity.


Design: Residential addresses of 871 adolescents in San Diego County (53% female, mean age = 12.8 years) were geocoded to create 1-mile network buffers.


Measures: Geographic information systems calculated neighborhood environmental variables. Accelerometers (worn 3-7 days) estimated daily moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time. Height and weight were directly measured.


Results: Latent profile analysis, using 7 environmental variables, resulted in 3 neighborhood profiles characterized as "open space" (OS), "residential with cul-de-sacs" (RWC), and "housing & facility dense" (HFD). These were named Adolescent Recreation Environment Accessibility (AREA) profiles. Multiple regression models stratified by gender tested associations between the AREA profiles and outcomes. Boys were less sedentary in the OS and RWC neighborhoods (7 hours per day) compared with the HFD neighborhoods (8 hours per day) (P < .01), and boys were more likely to be obese in the HFD neighborhoods (55%) compared with the OS group (24%) (P < .05). Girls in the RWC neighborhoods had lower MVPA levels (70 minutes per day) and were more likely to be obese (31%) than those in the OS neighborhoods (79 minutes per day MVPA, 21% obese) (Ps < .05). No differences were found for boys' MVPA or girls' sedentary time by the AREA profiles.


Conclusions: These findings highlight the complex relationships among environmental factors, activity levels, and obesity.nn