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Publication Date



UM campus only

Embargo Period


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Patrice G. Saab

Second Committee Member

Maria M. Llabre

Third Committee Member

Neena Malik


The current study examined the association of self-efficacy for physical activity, weight misperception, and body mass index (BMI) with physical activity and sedentary behavior in a sample of 10th grade Hispanic adolescents (268 girls, 217 boys). Participants completed self-report measures that assessed their height, weight, time spent in physical activity over the past week, and the average time spent each day watching television and using a computer to play computer/video games. The following demographic characteristics were also obtained and served as covariates in the model: country of birth (US or other), language spoken at home (English/other languages or Spanish), highest level of education completed by head of household (bachelor’s degree and above or less than a bachelor’s), participation in sports teams (number of teams), and intention to lose weight (report of trying to lose weight or not trying to lose weight). Multiple group path analyses were used to explore the associations of self-efficacy for physical activity, weight misperception, and BMI with physical activity and sedentary behavior, and to determine whether gender served to moderate the strength of the observed associations. The results revealed that self-efficacy is an important correlate of physical activity among Hispanic adolescents as it was positively associated with physical activity in boys and girls. Furthermore, the strength of the association was stronger in girls. Directions for future studies based on these and other findings are discussed.


adolescents; Hispanics; physical activity; sedentary behavior; weight misperception; self-efficacy