Online Program

How do parent perceptions of the neighborhood park environment influence child sedentary behavior and physical inactivity?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Elizabeth Budd, MPH, Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
J. Aaron Hipp, PhD, Brown School, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Elizabeth A. Dodson, PhD, MPH, Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
introduction: U.S. children spend too much time in sedentary behaviors (SB) and not enough time performing physical activity (PA). Parents’ perceptions of the neighborhood environment influence where and how their children spend time. More research is needed on these perceptions to design local policy that addresses parental concerns and promotes children’s healthy behaviors. This study investigated how parents’ perceived barriers of the neighborhood park environment predict their children’s SB and PA.

methods: This cross-sectional study includes a sample of 198 parents, with a child 3-18 years old living at home in St. Louis, Missouri, who responded to a mail survey in 2012. Measures derive from the Active Where? study. Children’s SB and PA were regressed on each of the 11 barriers.

results: Most respondents were female (74.3%), non-Hispanic black (74.4%), and reported a household income of less than $30,000 (60.9%). Parents’ perceptions of the neighborhood park environment that positively predicted children’s SB and negatively predicted children’s PA were lack of: equipment, adult supervision, and infrastructure for a variety of PA options in neighborhood parks. Parents’ perception that their children would be bullied at the park also negatively predicted children’s PA.

conclusions: Study findings demonstrate that additional park equipment, adult supervision, and physical activity infrastructure in parks could support decreased SB and increased PA in children. Opportunities exist for public health practitioners to collaborate with parents, parks and recreation departments, and law enforcement officials to develop, adopt, and implement related policies.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify specific parent-perceived barriers of the neighborhood park environment that predict their children's sedentary behaviors and physical activity. Discuss opportunities for diverse community stakeholders to address parent concerns about the neighborhood park environment through local policy initiatives.

Keyword(s): Policy/Policy Development, Child Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral candidate, studying physical activity among youth and adolescents. I have 8 years of research experience in chronic disease prevention and policy research.
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.