Title

Barriers to and Suggestions for a Healthful, Active Lifestyle as Perceived by Rural and Urban Costa Rican Adolescents

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

5-1-2009

Journal

Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

Volume

41

Issue

3

DOI

10.1016/j.jneb.2008.03.002

Keywords

active lifestyle; adolescent; health education; healthful; physical activity

Abstract

Objective: To assess the perceptions of rural and urban Costa Rican adolescents regarding which barriers and motivators affect their adoption of an active lifestyle. Design: Data were collected in focus group discussions. Participants: 108 male and female adolescents aged 12 to 18 from the 7th to 11th grades. Setting: Two urban and 1 rural high school in San José, Costa Rica. Phenomena of Interest: Active lifestyle; barriers and motivators for active life. Analysis: Data were reviewed for emerging themes, and themes were coded using content analysis procedures. Results: Major barriers: (a) physical education curriculum was focused on competitive sports; (b) lack of facilities in the school and community environments; (c) family did not provide good role models and reinforced the socially expected gender roles. Key motivators: (a) changed the physical education curriculum to focus on leisure and recreational activities; (b) increased the availability of facilities both in the school and in the community; and (c) provided a strong social support network. Conclusions and Implications: The school, community, and family environments are potential targets for physical activity interventions for adolescents. Future studies should explore in depth the influence of adolescent socialization patterns (particularly for females) in the establishment of an active lifestyle. © 2009 Society for Nutrition Education.

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