The effects of experimentally manipulated social status and subjective social status on physical activity among Hispanic adolescents: An RCT

Academic Article


  • Background: Low objective socioeconomic status (SES) and subjective social status (SSS), one's perceived social rank, are associated with obesity. This association may be due, in part, to social status-related differences in energy expenditure. Experimental studies are needed to assess the extent to which SES and SSS relate to energy expenditure. Objective: Assess the effects of experimentally manipulated social status and SSS on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behaviour. Methods: One hundred thirty-three Hispanic adolescents aged 15–21 were randomized to a high or low social status position, facilitated through a rigged game of Monopoly™. SSS was assessed with MacArthur Scales. Post-manipulation 24-h MVPA and sedentary behaviour were assessed via accelerometry. Analyses were conducted with general linear regression models. Results: Experimentally manipulated social status did not significantly affect the total time spent in MVPA or sedentary behaviour; however, identifying as low SSS was significantly associated with less MVPA (p = 0.0060; 18.76 min less). Conclusions: Tewnty-four-hour MVPA and sedentary behaviour are not affected by an acute experimental manipulation of social status. However, low SSS, independent of SES, was associated with clinically significant differences in MVPA. SSS may be a better predictor of MVPA than SES among Hispanic adolescents, potentially influencing obesity, and other health-related outcomes.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Pediatric Obesity  Journal
  • Pediatric Obesity  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lee AM; Huo T; Miller D; Gurka MJ; Thompson LA; Modave FP; Hong YR; Pavela G; Cardel MI
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 5