Profiles of Physical Fitness Risk Behaviours in School Adolescents from the ASSO Project: A Latent Class Analysis

Garden Tabacchi, Avery Faigenbaum, Monèm Jemni, Ewan Thomas, Laura Capranica, Antonio Palma, Joao Breda, Antonino Bianco

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present investigation was to describe profiles of adolescents’ fitness level, identify latent classes of fitness-related risk behaviours, and describe their sociodemographic and environmental predictors. In total, 883 adolescents (16.4 ± 1.4 years; 167.3 ± 10.4 cm; 62.8 ± 13.5 kg; 62.2% males) were assessed for personal and lifestyle information and for physical fitness components. Eleven possible fitness determinants and seven predictors were included. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to determine fitness-related risk behaviours. Logistic regressions predicted class membership and assessed associations with fitness levels and fitness components. Five latent classes were recognised: 1—virtuous, 30.7% of respondents; 2—low physical activity/sport, 18.8%; 3—incorrect alcohol/food habits, 25.8%; 4—health risk/overweight, 15.9%; 5—malaise/diseases, 8.8%. Sex, age, parents’ overweightness/obesity and education, and school type predicted most classes significantly. Compared to class 1, class 2 had higher odds of having all poor fitness components except upper body maximal strength; class 4 had higher risk of low muscular endurance; and class 5 was likely to have lower maximal strength, muscular endurance, and speed/agility. Educating adolescents to reach a sufficient practice of PA/sport could help decreasing the risk of low health-related fitness more than discouraging them from using alcohol, addressing proper food behaviours and habits, and helping them understand their psychophysical malaise symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescents
  • health
  • latent class analysis
  • physical fitness


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