Socio-economic status and physical activity among adolescents: The mediating role of self-esteem

Z. Veselska*, A. Madarasova Geckova, S. A. Reijneveld, J. P. van Dijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
445 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objectives: Physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle in adolescence. Previous studies have shown physical activity to be associated with socio-economic status and self-esteem; the latter association may mediate the former, but evidence on this is lacking. The aim of this study was to explore the associations of socioeconomic status and the self-esteem of adolescents with physical activity, and their joint effects.

Methods: A sample of 3694 elementary-school students from Slovakia (mean age 14.3 years, 49% boys) completed the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale and answered questions about the frequency of their physical activity and their parents' educational level.

Results: Adolescents with higher socio-economic status were significantly more likely to report physical activity on >= 5 days/week and to report higher self-esteem. In logistic regression, the association between socio-economic status and physical activity decreased after including self-esteem, suggesting that at least a part of this association is mediated by self-esteem.

Conclusions: To conclude, youths from lower socio-economic groups have already been identified as a target group, for intervention. These findings suggest that it is important for promotion programmes to focus not only on the enhancement of their physical activity, but also on their self-esteem as a possible mediator. (C) 2011 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-768
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Health
Volume125
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2011

Keywords

  • Socio-economic status
  • Self-esteem
  • Physical activity
  • Adolescence
  • MENTAL-HEALTH
  • EXERCISE
  • LEVEL
  • GIRLS
  • LINKS
  • TIME

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