Objective. To determine correlates of sedentary behaviors in adolescents through the examination of psychosocial and environmental variables.

Method. The study used a cross-sectional design to evaluate an ethnically diverse clinic-based sample of 878 adolescents who were 11 to 15 years old. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were stratified by gender to assess correlates of sedentary behaviors occurring on the most recent nonschool day (television viewing, computer video games, sitting listening to music, and talking on the phone).

Results. For girls, age, family support, television/video rules, and hills in the neighborhood were associated with sedentary behaviors. Furthermore, psychological constructs such as self-efficacy, enjoyment, change strategies, and pros and cons of change emerged as correlates of sedentary behaviors. A moderator effect revealed that the proportion of girls in the low-BMI group decreased with increased self-efficacy, whereas the proportion of girls in the high-BMI group did not vary significantly by self-efficacy. For boys, age, ethnicity, BMI, cons of change, and self-efficacy were associated with sedentary behaviors.

Conclusions. This study provides evidence of factors associated and not associated with adolescent sedentary behaviors. Similar to physical activity, measures of specific psychosocial constructs of sedentary behavior demonstrated important associations. The results highlight the need for additional examination of the correlates of sedentary behavior to determine which correlates are mechanisms of behavior change.

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