Perceived neighbourhood environmental characteristics and physical activity according to socioeconomic status in adolescent girls
Objective: The purpose of this study was to analyse the associations between physical activity (PA) and several characteristics of the built environment with socioeconomic status (SES) in adolescent girls. Methods: The sample comprised 599 girls (mean age 14.7, SD = 1.6 years) living in the Aveiro Region of Portugal. Questionnaires were used to describe physical activity level and perceived neighbourhood environments. SES was established by maternal education level. Girls were grouped into low, middle or high SES group. Results: Logistic regression analysis showed that girls assigned to the higher SES group were more likely (OR = 2.4; 95%CI = 1.3-4.5) to belong to the active group than their low SES peers. Girls in high (OR = 2.4; 95%CC = 1.3-4.4) and medium (OR = 1.6; 95%CC = 1.14-2.3) SES groups were more likely to have a higher perception of better aesthetics in their neighbourhoods than their low SES peers and higher SES was also associated with better perception of a street connectivity (OR = 2.9; 95%CI = 1.7-5.4). Conclusion: The study showed that girls of higher SES are more active than those of lower SES and that social background might be associated with differences in neighbourhood environmental perceptions.