Gender-specific correlates of sufficient physical activity among vulnerable children

Jeongae Hong, Jina Choo, Hye Jin Kim, Sae Y. Jae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: We aimed to identify the levels and types of physical activity (PA) by gender, and to determine correlates of sufficient PA on a theoretical basis of self-determination and social support; moreover, if significant correlates with sufficient PA would differ by gender among vulnerable children. Methods: Participants were 319 children enrolled in public welfare systems in Seoul, South Korea. Sufficient PA was defined as daily activity with moderate or vigorous intensity for 60 min. Self-determined motivation was assessed by autonomous and controlled forms; social support was assessed as two types: family and peer support. Questionnaires were self-reported by children and their parents. Results: Of the participants, 20.4% achieved sufficient PA, specifically 15.0% for girls versus 27.3% for boys (P <.001). Girls were more likely to perform casual exercise types, while boys were more likely to perform sports types (P <.05 for all). The autonomous form of self-determined motivation, but not its controlled form, was significantly associated with sufficient PA in both girls (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.03, P =.028) and boys (AOR = 2.47, P =.007). Family support was not significantly associated in girls and boys; however, peer support was significantly associated only in boys (AOR = 3.72, P =.042). Discussion: Of the children, girls were less likely to achieve sufficient PA and to perform sports than were boys. Self-determined motivation was a PA correlate uniformly in girls and boys; however, peer support was a PA correlate only in boys. Self-determined motivation-enhanced strategies should be integrated with peer support provided through gender-specific strategies when employing a PA intervention for vulnerable children.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12278
JournalJapan Journal of Nursing Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Japan Academy of Nursing Science


  • children
  • physical activity
  • self-determination
  • social support
  • vulnerable populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory


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