Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Familial Aggregation of Physical Activity Levels in the Strong Heart Family Study

Storti, Kristi Leigh (2007) Familial Aggregation of Physical Activity Levels in the Strong Heart Family Study. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (1MB) | Preview


Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for complex metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Traditionally, these diseases and conditions have been the specific burden of adulthood, but they are now being diagnosed more frequently in younger populations. There has been some suggestion that, as is true in adults, children are becoming less physically active and that this decline in physical activity may help to explain the sudden increase in the incidence of metabolic diseases among children. Understanding the factors that are impacting on decreased physical activity levels in children will provide clues on how to approach this problem.Similar to findings in obesity, where obese parents tend to have overweight and obese children, physical activity appears to be related between parent and offspring. Although the literature regarding familial aggregation of physical activity levels is limited, it does allude to an association of physical activity levels among parents and children to varying degrees. Using several different approaches, we examined the familial resemblance of physical activity levels, determined by pedometry, in 96 extended Native American families from three geographic locations (Arizona, North/South Dakota, Oklahoma) in the Strong Heart Family Study. Based upon correlational analyses, physical activity levels were significantly and positively related among parent-offspring pairs. More specifically, correlations between father-daughter pairs (&lt,18 years of age) and father-son pairs (&gt,18-30 years of age) were rho = 0.30 and 0.26, respectively (p = 0.01). No significant associations were noted between physical activity levels of mother-offspring pairs. For our main investigation, we examined the familial effects, of physical activity using variance components analyses. Despite the fact that this study was conducted in three separate geographic locations, had limited household data, was not designed specifically to examine aggregation of physical activity levels, and was not limited to 2-parent families, when modeled as a heritable effect, physical activity achieved statistical significance (p = 0.007) explaining approximately 9% of the trait variance. Since physical activity can provide health benefits in youth, and since many young people are not meeting established guidelines, improving physical activity levels of youth is a key public health challenge. However, in order to develop effective physical activity interventions for youth, factors that impact on a child's physical activity levels need to be better understood. The findings of the current study indicate a significant, albeit weak, degree of aggregation of physical activity levels among parent-offspring pairs and among families. This supports the need to establish family based lifestyle interventions studies where both parent and child may benefit.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Storti, Kristi Leighstortik@edc.pitt.eduKLSST75
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKriska, Andrea Maky@pitt.eduAKY
Committee MemberBunker, Clareann Hbunkerc@pitt.eduBUNKERC
Committee MemberYeh,
Committee MemberZmuda, Joseph Mzmudaj@edc.pitt.eduEPIDJMZ
Committee MemberBarmada, M Michaelmichael.barmada@hgen.pitt.eduBARMADA
Committee MemberHanson, Robert
Committee MemberLaston, Sandra
Committee MemberArena, Vincent Carena@pitt.eduARENA
Date: 21 June 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 10 April 2007
Approval Date: 21 June 2007
Submission Date: 13 April 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: heritability; pedometer; physical activity; Native American
Other ID:, etd-04132007-102623
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:36
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:35


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item