The importance of parent physical activity levels and their expectations for their children's health: A path analysis

Marc Lochbaum, Tara Stevens, Yen To, Sarah Stevenson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Rates of childhood obesity are reaching epidemic levels. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if parent behavior and expectations are associated with estimates of their children's leisure time activities and their adult body size. Bandura's (1986) social cognitive theory guided the investigation. Participants were 121 parents of 65 kindergarten and 56 fifth grade students from a midsized rural school district. The majority of parents were minorities with a low percentage of parents having obtained degrees beyond a high school diploma. Parents completed measures to assess their physical activity level, their preferences for their children's leisure time activity, estimates of time spent in a variety of leisure time activities, and an estimate of their children's adult body size as an adult. Parents spent very little time in physical activity though their preference was for their children to be active. Path analysis was conducted on a model that described relationships between parents' activity levels and their preferences for their children's activity, parents' activity levels and that of their children, and parents' preferences for their children's physical activity and their children's time spent in physical activity. An association was also posited between parents' preferences for their children's physical activity and their children's body size as an adult. Path analysis goodness of fit indices indicated a good fit (e.g., SRMR =.02, CFI = 1.00). All associations were in the hypothesized direction. In addition, the greater preference for children to be active was associated with a decrease in estimated body size as an adult by the parents. The percent of variance accounted for (< 10%) in the significant paths do suggest that several important variables were missing in our model. Future research longitudinal research that incorporates more extensive measures of both parents and their children are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSports Medicine and Training Tools
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages39-60
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9781611228274
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Adult obesity
  • Childhood obesity
  • Social cognitive theory

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The importance of parent physical activity levels and their expectations for their children's health: A path analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this