Online Program

Parental support for physical activity in rural and non rural boys and girls

Monday, November 4, 2013

Jill Nolan, PhD, Human Performance, Concord University, Athens, WV
Lesley A. Cottrell, Ph.D., Department of Pediatrics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Wes Meeteer, PhD, Human Performance, Concord University, Athens, WV
Mike Miller, EdD, Human Performance, Concord University, Athens, WV
Geri Dino, PhD, West Virginia Prevention Research Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Introduction: Research consistently finds a positive relationship between childhood physical activity and parental support for activity. Although rural areas may experience health disparities in physical activity, little is known about the influence of geographic location on parent support. This study utilized cross-sectional data collected through the Coronary Artery Risk Detection in Appalachian Communities (CARDIAC) project to explore the impact of rurality, gender, and SES on parent support for physical activity.

Methods: Parents of kindergarten, 2nd, and 5th graders (N=773) in eight counties were surveyed for factors relating to childhood obesity. Group differences in parental support were analyzed with a 2 (gender) x 2 (rurality) factorial ANCOVA controlling for socio-economic status and grade.

Results: The model was significant F (5, 738) = 4.012, p < .05, with an adjusted R2 of .02. There was a significant main effect of gender on parental supportive behavior F(1, 738) = 5.736, p < .05, after controlling for grade and SES. The covariate, grade, was significantly related to parental supportive behavior, F(1, 738) = 9.322, p < .05.

Conclusion: Parents of girls provided less support than did parents of boys when controlling for SES and grade. Similar to previous studies, parental support decreased as grade increased. While not significant, parents in rural areas did report higher levels of support for childhood physical activity for both genders than did their non-rural counterparts. This unexpected result serves as a basis for further research on the influence of the rural environment on parent support for child physical activity.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify differences in rural and non-rural environments related to physical activity. Describe the influences explored in parent support for physical activity in rural areas.

Keyword(s): Rural Health, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I received my PhD from West Virginia University in 2011. I work as Health Education faculty at Concord University, where my research interests are rural health and pre-adolescent girls' physical 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.