Neighborhood environment, self-efficacy, and physical activity in urban adolescents

Am J Health Behav. 2011 Nov;35(6):674-88. doi: 10.5993/ajhb.35.6.4.


Objectives: To test the pathways between perceptions of built environment factors and physical activity in urban youth.

Methods: Three hundred fifty high school students' perceptions of neighborhood, and barrier self efficacy were measured by a Web survey. Physical activities were assessed using a one-week diary and accelerometers.

Results: Land-use mix/accessibility and neighborhood satisfaction had direct pathways to walking. Barrier self-efficacy had a direct pathway to walking. In addition, land use, specifically neighborhood accessibility, influenced adolescents' walking behavior via self-efficacy. Similar pathways were found in MVPA models.

Conclusions: Neighborhood factors appear to work together with self-efficacy to facilitate physical activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Environment Design
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Safety
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Social Environment*
  • Urban Population*
  • Walking