Crime, physical activity and outdoor recreation among Latino adolescents in Chicago

Kimberly J. Shinew, Monika Stodolska, Caterina G. Roman, Jennifer Yahner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose was to examine how fear of crime, crime victimization, and perceived level of community incivilities are related to physical activity participation and outdoor recreation among Latino adolescents. Method: The study utilized a mixed methods approach that included 25 qualitative interviews and 390 school-based surveys collected from youth across three schools in Little Village, Chicago, Illinois. Results: Results showed that Latino adolescents who expressed greater fear of crime also engaged in less physical activity and outdoor recreation. There was no association between crime victimization and physical activity and outdoor recreation. Those who perceived greater levels of community incivilities also engaged in less outdoor recreation, but perception of incivilities had no significant association with physical activity levels. Interview data revealed most of the children believed crime was a serious problem in their neighborhood and it impacted their ability to be physically active and play outside. Conclusions: Fear of crime was related to lower physical activity and outdoor recreation. It is imperative that communities provide safe environments for children to be active. Increasing police and adult presence in parks and school grounds is recommended. Moreover, efforts must be made to reduce the gang problems in Latino communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-544
Number of pages4
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Adolescents
  • Crime
  • Latino
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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