Relations of black mothers' and daughters' body fatness, physical activity beliefs and behavior

Gloria J. Nichols-English, Christian R. Lemmon, Mark S. Litaker, Sheree G. Cartee, Zenong Yin, Bernard Gutin, Paule Barbeau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives: 1) Examine the association between Black mothers' and daughters' body fatness, physical activity (PA) beliefs and levels of PA, and daughters' PA behavior; 2) determine whether family sociodemographic factors influence these relationships. Design and Setting: Cross-sectional; Black girls recruited from elementary schools in a low socioeconomic area. Data collected at the Georgia Prevention Institute. Participants: 133 Black girls (8-12 years of age) and their mothers (24-66 years of age). Analyses: Spearman correlations, regressions. Outcome Measures: Body mass index (BMI) as a measure of body fatness. Moderate and vigorous PA collected from a 7-d recall. Beliefs about PA collected from questionnaires. Results: There was a positive relation between mothers' and daughters' BMI (rs=0.34, P<.0001). Mothers' and daughters' PA beliefs were positive but not significantly related. A significant inverse relation was seen between vigorous PA (rs=-0.16, P<.05); and a nonsignificant correlation between moderate PA (rs=0.05). Mothers' body fatness, PA beliefs and behavior did not predict daughters' PA. The BMI association was stronger when spouse lived in household (P<.01). Daughters' BMI was lower (P<.05) and intent to be active higher (P<.05) when more people lived in the household. Family income accentuated the relation of mothers' belief in the usefulness of PA and daughters' PA physical outcomes beliefs (P=.1). Mothers' age and education had no significant influence on daughters' PA beliefs and behaviors. Conclusion: Mothers and daughters believed PA to have beneficial outcomes. Mothers' body fatness, PA beliefs and behaviors were not associated with daughters' PA. Family income and structure appeared to influence these relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-179
Number of pages8
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


  • Maternal influence
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Psychosocial values and beliefs
  • Sociodemographic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Relations of black mothers' and daughters' body fatness, physical activity beliefs and behavior'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this