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Understanding parental physical activity : meanings, habits, and social role influence

Hamilton, Kyra & White, Katherine M. (2010) Understanding parental physical activity : meanings, habits, and social role influence. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11(4), pp. 275-285.

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Abstract

Objectives: The research aimed to explore parents’ understandings of physical activity (PA), patterns of PA-related behaviour, and how constructions of social role expectations might influence their PA behaviour. Design and Method: Using a qualitative descriptive design and adopting a social constructionism approach to broaden interpretations of parents’ understandings, 40 adults (21 mothers, 19 fathers; aged 23 to 49 years) living in South East Queensland, Australia participated in semi-structured individual and group interviews. The interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Parents had clear understandings of what constitutes PA and engaged in various activities which were integrated with or independent of the children. Being active with children, however, was not always constructed favourably in which many parents described the difficulties of being active with their children. All individuals experienced changes in their PA behaviours after having children. For most, a decline in PA level, intensity, and structure was experienced; however, some did experience parenthood as a time to be active. A level of acceptance for the lack of activity performed was also expressed as were feelings of resentment and envy for those who maintained previous activity habits. Parenting and partner roles were considered most influential on PA-related behaviour and were constructed in ways that had both positive and negative influences on activity performance. Parents, however, were empowered to construct strategies to resolve conflicts between social role performance and being active. Conclusion: Results show that parents experience unique difficulties that intervention work should consider when designing programs aimed at increasing parental PA.

Impact and interest:

7 citations in Scopus
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8 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 32349
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Physical Activity, Parenthood, Fathers, Mothers, Social Roles, Social Constructionism
DOI: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2010.02.006
ISSN: 1469-0292
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Sport and Exercise Psychology (170114)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > COGNITIVE SCIENCE (170200)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Elsevier BV
Deposited On: 24 May 2010 10:29
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:14

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