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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