Understanding Parents’ Perceptions of Children’s Physical Activity
Currently, there is little research on mothers’ perceptions of the social support they provide for their children to be physically active, which could yield important information in the construction of interventions that promote active lifestyles in childhood. We conducted individual interviews and three focus groups with 15 mothers of children 6 to 8 years old. The data were thematically analyzed using a qualitative approach, applying Ecological Model constructs to guide coding and categorization of results and the discussion of these results. The majority of mothers acknowledged that their sons and daughters were relatively less active and indicated that they perceived a need for increased physical activity among their children. The use of social support strategies was minimal, limited to accompanying their children. Mothers reported environmental factors such as cost, time constraints, lack of extracurricular-community activities and unsafe environments as the main barriers to their children’s physical activity. This study generated three main categories of results: the information gathered following the ecological model as a framework for analysis generated suggests that mothers are not aware of lack of physical activity of their children; mothers do not know ways to use social support for active lifestyles in their children, and recognize barriers to increase children’s physical activity. These research findings may contribute to health promotion strategies and programs that educate parents on how to effectively support their child in developing an active style of life.
Aldhafri, S. (2011). Self-efficacy and Physical Self-Concept as Mediators of Parenting Influence on Adolescents School and health Wellbeing. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 21 (4) 511-520.
Alvarez, C. (2016). Entendiendo los factores que determinan la actividad física en el entorno escolar desde la perspectiva de los niños y niñas. MHSalud. Accessed at http://dx.doi.org/10.15359/mhs.13-1.2
Bertley, G., Goodred, J., Jago, R., Sebire, S., Lucas, P Fox, S. & Turner, K. (2012). Parents’ views on child physical and their implications for physical activity parenting interventions: a qualitative study, 12, 180. Accessed at http://repository.hkbu.edu.hk/etd_oa
Beets, M.W., Cardinal, B. J., & Alderman, B. L. (2010) Parental social support and the physical activity-related behaviors of youth: A review. Health Education & Behavior, 37(5), 621-644.
Boise, J., Sarrazin, P., Brustad, R., Trouilloud, D., & Cury, F. (2005) Elementary school children’s perceived competence and physical activity involvement: The influence of parents? Role modeling behaviours and perceptions of their child competence. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 6, 381-397.
Carson, V., Clark, M., Berry, T., Holt, N. & Latimer, A. A qualitative examination of the perceptions of parents in the Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for the early years, 11, 65-70.
Chen, B. (2016). Parental Social support, perceived competence and enjoyment in school physical activity. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 20, 1-7.
Corder K, van Slujis EMF, Goodyer I, Ridgway CL, Steele RM, Bamber D, Dunn V, Griffin SJ, & Ekelund U. (2011). Physical activity awareness of British adolescents, Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 165(7):603–609.
Darbyshire, P., MacDougall, C. & Schiller W. (2005). Multiple methods in qualitative research with children: more insight or just more? Qualitative Research, 5 (4), 417–436. Accessed at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1468794105056921.
De Lepeleere, S., De Smet, A., Verloigne, M, Cardon G., De Bourdeaudhuij, I.
(2013). What practices do parents perceive as effective or ineffective in promoting a healthy diet, physical activity, and less sitting in children: parent focus groups. BMC Public Health, 13:1067.
Dwyer, G., Higgs, J., Hardy, L., and Baur, L. (2008). What do parents and preschool staff tell us about young children’s physical activity: a qualitative study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 5, 66.
Evenson, K., Scott, M., Cohen, D., & Voorhees, C. (2007) Girls perception of neighborhood factors on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and BMI. Obesity, 15(2), 430-445.
Fairclough S.J., Boddy L.M., Mackintosh K.A., Valencia-Peris A., & Ramirez-Rico, E.(2015). Weekday and weekend sedentary time and physical activity in differentially active children. J Sci Med Sport, 18(4):444–9.
Hohepa M., Scragg R., Schofield G, Kolt G.S, Schaaf D. (2007). Social support for youth physical activity: importance of siblings, parents, friends and school support across a segmented school day. IJBNPA, 4:54.
Kimiecik J.C, Horn T.S. (2012). Examining the relationship between family context and children’s physical activity beliefs: the role of parenting style. Psychol Sport Exerc, 13:10–18.
Gustafson S,L, & Rhodes, R.E (2006) Parental Correlates of Physical Activity in Children and Early Adolescents. Sports Med, 36(1):79-97.
Horner, S.D. (2000). Using focus group methods with middle school children. Research in Nursing and Health, 23 (6), 510–517. Accessed at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1098240X(200012)23:6<510::AIDNUR9>3.0.CO;2-L
Jago, R, Fox, K., Page, A., Brockman R, & Thompson, J. (2010). Parent and child physical activity and sedentary time: do active parents foster active children? BMC Public Health, 10(194):1-9.
Kettne,r S, Wirt, T, Fischbach, N, Kobel, S, Kesztyüs, D, Schreiber A, Drenowatz C, & Steinacker J. (2012) Necessity for physical activity promotion in German Children. Dtsch Z Sportmed 63:94-101.
Janssen, I, & Leblanc, A.G. (2010). Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act: 7:40.
Lanotti, R., Sallis, F, Chen, R, Broyles, S., Elder, J., & Nader, P. (2005). Prospective analyses of relationships between mothers and children’s physical activity. J Phys Act Health, 2:16-34.
LeBlanc, A.G, Spence, J.C, Carson, V, Connor, Gorbe, S, Dillman, C, Janssen, I, Kho, M.E, Stearns, J..A, Timmons, B.W, & Tremblay, M.S (2012): Systematic review of sedentary behaviour & health indicators in the early years (aged 0–4 years). Appl Physiol Nutr Metab, 37(4):753–772.
Lopez, N.V, Ayala, G.X, Corder, K, Eisenberg, C.M, Zive, M.M, Wood, C, Elder,J.P. (2012). Parent support and parent-mediated behaviors are associated with children's sugary beverage consumption. J Acad Nutr Diet, 112 (4):541–547.
Lox, C., Martin, K, Petruzzello, S. (2006). The Psychology of Exercise. Arizona: Holcomb Hathaway.
Marcus, B. & Forsyth, L. (2003). Motivating People to be Physically Active. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
McMinn, A., Griffin, S., Jones, A., & Van Sluijs, E.. (2012) Family and home influences on children’s after-school and weekend physical activity. European Journal of Public Health, 23(5), 805-810. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/cks160.
Moore, L., Lombardi, D., White, M., Campbell, J., Oliveria, S. & Ellison, R. C. (1991). Influence of parents' physical activity levels on activity levels of young children. Journal of Pediatrics, 118(2), 215-218.
Santaliestra-Pasías, A., Rey-López, J. & Moreno, L. (2013) Obesity and sedentarism in children and adolescents: What should be done. Nutr Hosp. 5:99-104
Okuda-Benavides, M. & Gómez-Restrepo, C. (2005). Métodos en investigación cualitativa:triangulación Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría, XXXIV, 118-124. Accessed at http://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=80628403009
Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.).Thousand Oaks,
Peterson, M.S., Lawman, H. G., Wilson, D. K., Fairchild, A., & Van, Horn, M.L. (2012) The association of self-efficacy and parent social support on physical activity in male and female adolescents. Health Psychology, 32: 666-674.
Pugliiese, J, & Tinsley, B. (2007). Parental Socialization of Child and Adolescent Physical Activity: a Meta-Analysis. Journal of Family Psychology, 21 (3) 331-343.
Pitney, W & Parker, J. (2009). Qualitative Research in Physical Activity and the Health Professions. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
REACH. (2014). Parental influence en Children’s Physical Activity Motivation. Arizona: UM.
Santaliestra-Pasías, A., Rey-López, J. & Moreno, L. (2013) Obesity and sedentarism in children and adolescents: What should be done? Nutr Hosp, 5:99-104
Tappe, k., Glanz, k., Sallis, J., Zhou, C. & Saelens, B. (2013). Children’s physical activity and parents’ perception of the neighborhood environment: neighborhood impact on kids study. Internacional Journal of behavioral, Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10:39.
Trigwell, J., Murphy, C., Cable, G. & Stratton, G. (2015). Parental views of children’s physical activity: a qualitative study with parents from multi-ethnic backgrounds living in England. BMC Public Health, 15: 1015-1020.
Trost S., Sallis J., Pate R., Freedson P., Taylor W., & Dowda., M. (2003). Evaluating a model of parental influence on youth physical activity. Am J Prev Med., 25(4):277-282.
Ward, D., Saunders, R. & Pate, R. (2007). Physical Activity Interventions in Children and Adolescents. Birmingham, AL: Human Kinetics
Watkinson, C., van Sluijs, E.M, Sutton, S, Marteau T., & Griffin S.J. (2010). Randomised controlled trial of the effects of physical activity feedback on awareness and behaviour in UK adults: the FAB study protocol. BMC Publ Health, 10:144.
Welk, G. J., Wood, K., & Morss, G. (2003) Parental influences on physical activit in children: An exploration of potential mechanisms. Pediatric Exercise Science, 15, 19-33.
1. In case the submitted paper is accepted for publication, the author(s) FREELY, COSTLESS, EXCLUSIVELY AND FOR AN INDEFINITE TERM transfer copyrights and patrimonial rights to Universidad Nacional (UNA, Costa Rica). For more details check the Originality Statement and Copyright Transfer Agreement
2. REUTILIZATION RIGHTS: UNA authorizes authors to use, for any purpose (among them selfarchiving or autoarchiving) and to publish in the Internet in any electronic site, the paper´'s final version, both approved and published (post print), as long as it is done with a non commercial purpose, does not generate derivates without previous consentment and recognizes both publisher's name and authorship.
3. The submission and possible publication of the paper in the Educare Electronic Journal is ruled by the Journal’s editorial policies, the institutional rules of Universidad Nacional and the laws of the Republic of Costa Rica. Additionally, any possible difference of opinion or future dispute shall be settled in accordance with the mechanisms of Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Costa Rican Jurisdiction.
4. In all cases, it is understood that the opinions issued are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position and opinion of Educare, CIDE or Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica.
5. The papers published by Educare Electronic Journal use a Creative Commons License: