267960 Parental influence on physical activity in preschoolers

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Laura Bellows, PhD, MPH, RD , Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Patricia Davies, PhD, OTR , Department of Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Kasey Brixius, MS , Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Jennifer Anderson, PhD, RD , Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Introduction: Parents directly and indirectly impact physical activity (PA) behaviors of their child. This study examined parental attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of their child's PA habits and their own.

Methods: The Physical Activity in Preschool Children survey was administered to parents of 3-to-5-year olds (n=267) as part of a randomized intervention trial. Child height/weight was measured at school. Parental height/weight was self-reported. One-way ANOVAs and Spearman's rank correlation coefficients examined gender/ethnic differences and relationships between child BMI z-score and survey responses, respectively.

Results: The child's BMI z-score was positively correlated with parent's BMI in both girls and boys. In girls, correlations between child's BMI z-score and the adult male in household were found, including: influence of participating in PA with child; watching child being active, telling child PA is good for their health and adult male's enjoyment of health. Ethnic differences were also found. Hispanic parents were less likely than Caucasians to report that their child does enough PA, male adults encourage them to participate in PA, adult male telling child PA is good for health. Parents of Hispanic ethnicity reported their own PA levels as lower than parents of other ethnicity groups.

Conclusion: Future PA interventions for preschoolers should address the home environment, with consideration of culture, child's gender, and the influence of male caregivers/fathers.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the relationships between parents physical activity levels and child weight status 2. Describe ethnic and gender differences in parental influences on preschoolers’ physical activity. 3. List potential physical activity intervention strategies aimed at parents of preschoolers.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Head Start

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a PI or Co-PI on several federal grants addressing nutrition and physcial activity in preschoolers and thier parents. I have a peer-reviewed publication on parental influences of physical activity in children. My research is currently focused on exploring the home environment related to diet and activity.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.