OBJECTIVE: This study used focus groups to identify preferences for physical activity (PA) and motivational themes for increasing PA in underserved adolescents. METHODS: Fifty-one adolescents, on the free lunch program (25 males and 26 females; ages 10-13 years; 72% African-American, 19% white, and 9% other minorities) participated in focus groups (6-10 children per group; same gender). The data were transcribed and coded into themes. A content analysis was performed using QSR NVivo. RESULTS: Boys rated their favorite activities as playing basketball, football, soccer, and baseball. Girls rated their favorite activities as playing basketball, swimming, and roller-skating. For motivational themes, boys and girls most frequently stated that they would participate in PA if it was a fun, provided a health benefit, and if there were a variety of choices offered. Being involved with friends was also identified as important to both boys and girls. CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this qualitative study suggest that including components of choice and a variety of physical activities may be important elements for intervention programs in underserved adolescents.
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