Ethnicity and Sex Difference in Physical Activity Behaviors and Motivational Factors among College Students

Mi-Sook Kim, San Francisco State University, USA
Ana Barrera, San Francisco State University, USA

Theme: Motivation and self-perceptions

Poster Number: 130

Program ID: POS-2

Presentation: October 4, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


Despite well-known health benefits of regular physical activity (PA), college students’ physical inactivity remains low (Bray & Born, 2004). Stemming from the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB, Ajzen, 1991), the present study examined ethnicity and sex difference in PA behaviors and motivational factors (i.e., intention to exercise, attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control) among college students. A total of 381 students from an urban university completed a battery of questionnaires including motivational factors (Courneya et al., 1999) and their PA behaviors (i.e., intensity, duration, frequency) (Lee & Gorelick, 2010). The results revealed that White Americans reported greater engagement in both moderate and vigorous PA than other ethnic groups (?2‘s= 9.63 and 8.23, p < .05). Ethnicity differences also were found in frequency and duration of PA (Wilks’ ? = .94, F(12, 992) = 2.10, p<.05). White-Americans compared to Hispanic- and Asian-Americans reported that they exercise more often and longer. Male students engaged in more vigorous PA (?2‘s= 5.83, p < .05) which often time was more frequent and longer compared to their counterpart. There were significant ethnicity (Wilks’ ?=.93, F(12, 992) = 2.44, p<.05) and sex (Wilks’ ?=.93, F(4, 377) = 4.0, p<.05) difference in motivation factors of PA. Hispanic- and Asian-Americans are significantly lowers than White-Americans in Perceived Intention and the social pressure to engage in PA. Asian-Americans also reported lower perception of behavioral control compared to White-Americans. These findings will be further discussed with respect to college students PA and motivational factors.

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