The Implications of Neighborhood Crime and Parents' Perceptions of Crime on Children's Physical Activity and Resulting Health Outcomes and Health Care Use
Kneeshaw-Price, Stephanie Hall
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Physical activity is a modifiable health behavior that can impact health outcomes. Chapter 2 examined children's baseline weight and physical activity and follow-up health care utilization and school absences. Meeting physical activity recommendations was negatively associated with overweight/obese status, and more overweight/obese children than healthy weight children had at least one health condition. Baseline physical activity and weight did not predict health care use or school absences at 2-year follow-up. Chapter 3 determined where children ages 6-11 were physically active using time-stamped accelerometer data and parent-reported place logs. Children spent most time and did most physical activity at home and school. Although neighborhood time was limited, this time was more proportionally active than time in other locations (e.g., 42.1% of time in neighborhood vs. 18.1% of time at home). Children with any neighborhood-based physical activity had higher average total physical activity. Chapter 4 evaluated how five crime measures were interrelated and which crime measures were related to children's total and neighborhood physical activity. We found positive correlations between parents' general crime & disorder perceptions and: neighborhood incivilities and stranger danger perceptions; parent-reported prior crime victimization and: neighborhood incivilities, general crime & disorder and stranger danger perceptions. Higher census block group-level police-reported crime was associated with less child total and neighborhood physical activity. Using 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey cross-sectional data, Chapter 5 examined associations between physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness and body adiposity. We also examined whether these relationships differed depending on how physical activity was measured: including 8-10 minute bouts or every minute. Positive associations between physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness were found for boys 12-19 years and adults 20-49 years. Negative associations were found between physical activity and body adiposity for girls 12-19 years and adults 20-49 years. We found no significant differences between how physical activity was measured and its relationship with the two health outcomes. We demonstrated that meeting physical activity recommendations is significantly related to children's, adolescents', and adults' positive health outcomes. Furthermore, a child's neighborhood is a valid location for physical activity policy and interventions, and crime may be a worthwhile target.
- Health services