Social Norms, Acculturation, and Physical Activity Among Latina Women

Ana F. Abraído-Lanza, Rachel C. Shelton, Mariana Cunha Martins, Danielle M. Crookes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Physical activity promotes health and is important for preventing chronic conditions, such as obesity and cardiovascular disease. Little is known about factors associated with different types of PA among Latina women, particularly Dominicans, who now constitute the fifth largest group of Latinos in the United States. The purpose of this study was to examine whether occupational physical activity, acculturation, familism, and norms held by family and friends are associated with three types of PA: vigorous and moderate leisure-time physical activity (LTPA), and resistance training. Interviews were conducted with 418 Dominican women. We assessed self-reported PA using standardized measures. Data were collected between July 2010 and July 2012 in New York City. Most women reported no vigorous LTPA or resistance training (74.5 and 73.1 %, respectively); about half (52.1 %) reported no moderate LTPA. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, occupational physical activities were associated with greater LTPA. Acculturation was not associated with any outcome. Positive family norms about exercise were associated with increased LTPA and resistance training. Family norms may play a critical role in PA and should be included in programs to increase PA among Latina women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-293
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Dominicans
  • Latinos
  • Physical activity
  • Social norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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