Alexis Jones

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Social and environmental factors are important determinants of physical activity (PA) and childhood obesity. The purposes of this study were to 1) explore associations of social-demographics (i.e., ethnicity, social-economic status [SES], gender), PA, sedentary behavior (SB), and BMI percentile with social/built environment and 2) explore SES disparities in environmental determinants of health. This cross-sectional study recruited 40 preschoolers (Mage=3.55 years; 75% girls; 17.5% low SES; 30% Hispanic; 10% overweight/obese). Parent-report surveys measured social-demographics, PA outcomes, and social/built environment. Results indicated higher SES children engaged in more PA and less SB than low-SES peers. SES significantly associated with PA, obesity, crime safety, inside space, stimulation variety, and fine and gross motor toys (r’s range from -0.5 to 0.57; p<.05). Obesity significantly associated with inside space (r=-.54; p<.05). MANCOVA analyses revealed significant SES effects on perceived neighborhood safety and inside space toward PA (p>.05). Culture-specific interventions are needed among underserved children.

Publication Date




Faculty Mentor of Honors Project

Samantha Moss



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