The mediating effect of global self-worth on physical activity in African-American adolescent females

Yolanda M. Powell-Young, University of Iowa


Having an excess of body fat has been identified as a predictor for participatory frequency in physical activity, a behavior that influences the development and persistence of obesity. However, the psychological factors that contribute to this pathway have not been as easily identified. This is particularly significant for population subgroups that are not only uniquely impacted by obesity-related morbidities but who are underrepresented in research as well. This study sample consisted of African-American adolescent females (N = 310), from 14 to 18 years of age, who were recruited from the urban South. Data obtained from self-reported and demographic questionnaires, as well as from anthropometric measurements, were analyzed to explore the mediating effect of global self-worth between BMI and physical activity. Mediation analysis revealed that 2% of the influence that BMI exerts on how frequently African-American adolescent females engaged in physical activity can be attributed to global self-worth.