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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Volume 27, Issue 3


Perceived social support and parental education as determinants of adolescents’ physical activity and eating behaviour: a cross-sectional survey

Franklin N. Glozah
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Psychology and Human Development, Regent University College of Science and Technology, P.O. Box DS 1636, Accra, Ghana
  • School of Health and Human Sciences, University of Essex, UK
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ David J. Pevalin
Published Online: 2014-08-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2014-0019


Purpose: To examine the role of perceived social support and parental education on physical activity and eating behaviour of Ghanaian adolescents.

Methods: Seven hundred and seventy Senior High School students (504 boys and 266 girls) between the ages of 14–21 years participated by completing questionnaires on perceived social support, physical activity and eating behaviour. The highest education attained by either parent or guardian was also obtained. Multivariate analysis of covariance was the main statistical test used to analyse the data.

Results: The results showed significant gender differences in physical activity and eating behaviour combined, with boys more likely to engage in physical activity than girls, and girls also more likely to engage in healthy eating behaviour than boys, albeit the effect was not statistically significant. While perceived social support had a significant positive effect on eating behaviour and physical activity, parental education had a significant effect only on eating behaviour but not physical activity.

Conclusion: Perceived social support from family coupled with parental education provides more opportunities for adolescents to engage in healthy eating behaviour. Also, parents’ educational attainment alone does not necessarily guarantee that adolescents will engage in physical activity; providing the needed social support and conducive home environment is more likely to induce physical activity behaviours. Finally, physical activity and eating behaviour should not be construed as alternative health behaviours as suggested by gender differentials in these health behaviours.

Keywords: adolescents; eating behaviour; health behaviour; parental education; Perceived social support; physical activity; socioeconomic status


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About the article

Corresponding author: Dr. Franklin N. Glozah, Department of Psychology and Human Development, Regent University College of Science and Technology, P.O. Box DS 1636, Accra, Ghana, E-mail:

Received: 2014-04-05

Accepted: 2014-05-13

Published Online: 2014-08-12

Published in Print: 2015-08-01

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, Volume 27, Issue 3, Pages 253–259, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, ISSN (Print) 0334-0139, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2014-0019.

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