Effects of a 12-week Lifestyle Intervention on Self-efficacy, Social Support, and Physical Activity in Obese Latino Adolescents
Background: The prevalence of childhood obesity has disproportionately affected Latino youth and can be seen with an increase incidence of Type 2 Diabetes. This increase in obesity can be attributed to physical inactivity. Increases in social support and self-efficacy are independently related to increases in physical activity. A lifestyle intervention can lead to increases in social support, self-efficacy and physical activity. Objective/Hypothesis: The objective of this study was to determine whether a 12-week lifestyle intervention could increase social support, self-efficacy and physical activity in obese Latino adolescents that participated in the intervention. It was hypothesized that adolescents that participated in the intervention would increase self-efficacy, social support from family and friends, and physical activity compared to their control counterparts. Study Design/Participants: In a randomized control trial, there were 125 Latino (n= 60 experimental group; n= 65 control group; mean age = 15.17 +- 1.65 Males n = 60; n = 65 females) participants included in this study. Participants were also required to have a BMI percentile >= 95th percentile for age and gender or BMI >= 30 kg/m2. Methods: The intervention, which was developed using the Social Cognitive Theory had components focusing on social support and self-efficacy and also consisted of nutrition education classes and physical activity sessions for 12 weeks. The psychosocial constructs of self-efficacy and social support were measured using the Adolescent Self-Efficacy for Diet and Activity Behaviors and Adolescent Social Support for Diet and Exercise Survey, respectively. Physical activity was assessed by the 3-day Physical Activity Recall. Results: We found significant increases in social support in family (p = 0.042) and vigorous physical activity (p = 0.001). There was also a significant difference between control and treatment group for moderate to vigorous physical activity after the intervention (p = 0.027). There were no changes in social support from friends or self-efficacy. Conclusion: We concluded that a 12-week lifestyle intervention did lead to changes in social support and physical activity behaviors. These changes could have been influenced by the intervention as they were measured these constructs pre/post intervention.