Predictors for physical activity in adolescent girls using statistical shrinkage techniques for hierarchical longitudinal mixed effects models

Edward M. Grant, Deborah Rohm Young, Tong Tong Wu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    We examined associations among longitudinal, multilevel variables and girls' physical activity to determine the important predictors for physical activity change at different adolescent ages. The Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls 2 study (Maryland) contributed participants from 8th (2009) to 11th grade (2011) (n=561). Questionnaires were used to obtain demographic, and psychosocial information (individual- and social-level variables); height, weight, and triceps skinfold to assess body composition; interviews and surveys for school-level data; and self-report for neighborhood-level variables. Moderate to vigorous physical activity minutes were assessed from accelerometers. A doubly regularized linear mixed effects model was used for the longitudinal multilevel data to identify the most important covariates for physical activity. Three fixed effects at the individual level and one random effect at the school level were chosen from an initial total of 66 variables, consisting of 47 fixed effects and 19 random effects variables, in additional to the time effect. Self-management strategies, perceived barriers, and social support from friends were the three selected fixed effects, and whether intramural or interscholastic programs were offered in middle school was the selected random effect. Psychosocial factors and friend support, plus a school's physical activity environment, affect adolescent girl's moderate to vigorous physical activity longitudinally.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numbere0125431
    JournalPloS one
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
    • General

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