Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Teaching-Learning Processes

Date of Defense

8-5-2016

Graduate Advisor

Kathleen M. Haywood, PhD.

Committee

Alpert, Geoffrey

Zimmerman, Rick

Loughrey, Thomas

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between Body Mass Index (BMI) percentile and health risk behaviors of physical activity, dietary behaviors and sleep among high school students from the Youth Risk Behavioral Survey. The study used the 2013 National Youth Risk Behavioral Survey data from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The researcher used data for 9th to 12th graders to examine the associations between physical activity, dietary behavior, sleep and BMI percentiles among those participants using a measure of Spearman’s Rho correlation and Multiple Linear Regression analysis. There were significant indirect associations between physical activity, dietary behavior and sleep with BMI percentiles in high school boys but not girls. Healthier behaviors were associated with lower BMI percentiles in boys but not in girls. The impact of the three health-risk behaviors on BMI percentiles was not significantly different between White /Caucasian and Black/African American racial/ethnic groups. Future research should consider other mechanisms that might explore differences in health risk behaviors that could inevitably lead to designing better strategies and recommendations for maintaining healthy BMI Percentiles ranges among the U.S. adolescent school population.

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