Potential psychosocial influences on gender differences in physical activity among Qatari adolescents: a first insight through descriptive observation
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Adolescents in Qatar have some of the highest levels of inactivity and gender inequality in physical activity (PA) among all adolescents in the world. Contextual psychosocial influences remain unknown to date. The current study is a secondary analysis of 1,157 Qatari students (13 to 20 years of age) who completed a national cross-sectional survey. Males reported significantly higher daily PA than females (p < 0.0001) and increasing daily PA with personal importance for PA (p = 0.0140). However, compared to females, significantly higher proportion of daily active males were in the lowest level of self-efficacy (p = 0.0096), body shape satisfaction (p = 0.0003), likeness of body in pictures (p = 0.0011), and highest levels of psychological distress (p = 0.0313). Our results support positive association between adverse psychosocial constructs and daily PA in both genders; poor psychosocial profile was more pronounced among adolescent males. Future strategies aiming to increase PA should take into consideration these differences.
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