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ERIC Number: EJ966006
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0270-1367
Arab American College Students' Physical Activity and Body Composition: Reconciling Middle East-West Differences Using the Socioecological Model
Kahan, David
Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, v82 n1 p118-128 Mar 2011
In this study, I conducted focus group interviews with 21 Arab American college students (9 men, 12 women; 9 Muslims, 12 non-Muslims), who were selected for extreme manifestation of religiosity or acculturation, to explore their beliefs and attitudes toward socioecological (SE) factors that facilitated and hindered their individual physical activity (PA) and body composition (I also considered body image and food and eating behavior). To analyze responses, I used a combination of deductive coding, which used levels of the SE model and demographic variable groupings, and inductive coding, to search for common themes among participants within and between research questions. Results revealed that (a) the context of physical activity participation differed by gender; (b) ideal body image was conflicted and varied by gender; and (c) consumption of cultural foods diminished along with Arab social customs related to eating. Interpersonal and cultural/community levels of the SE model were identified as primary influences, with parents regulating and instilling values backed by cultural norms to preserve Arab identity, especially in women. Finally, I identified an indeterminate adjustment period, during which immigrants transitioned between physical activity purpose/form in the Middle East and the United States. (Contains 4 tables and 2 notes.)
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-213-7193; Fax: 703-476-9527; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States