Social cognitive correlates of leisure time physical activity among Latinos

David X. Marquez, Edward McAuley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the well-documented benefits of leisure time physical activity, Latinos are reported to be highest among all ethnic groups in leisure time inactivity. The present study examined the relationship between leisure time physical activity and exercise self-efficacy, exercise barriers self-efficacy, exercise social support, and perceived importance of physical activity. Data were obtained from 153 Latinos (n = 86 female, n = 67 male). Comparisons were made between Latinos with high and low levels of leisure time physical activity and between men and women. Results revealed that Latinos high in leisure time physical activity had significantly greater exercise and barriers self-efficacy, received more social support from friends to exercise, and placed greater importance on physical activity outcomes than did Latinos low in leisure time physical activity. No significant differences were revealed for social support from family, nor between men and women on the psychosocial variables. Physical activity interventions targeting sources of self-efficacy, increasing social support, and emphasizing the importance of regular physical activity should be helpful in increasing leisure time physical activity of Latinos. Future research should examine the influence of environmental and cultural variables on the leisure time physical activity of Latinos and how they interact with psychosocial factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-289
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Importance
  • Latinos
  • Physical activity
  • Self-efficacy
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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