Children physical activity correlates and parent physical activity do not have a strong association with physical activity amongst adolescents
Rachele, Jerome N., Washington, Tracy L., Cuddihy, Thomas F., & McPhail, Steven (2012) Children physical activity correlates and parent physical activity do not have a strong association with physical activity amongst adolescents. In 4th International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health, October 31 - November 3, 2012, Sydney, NSW.
Background: Physical activity is a key modifiable behavior impacting a number of important health outcomes. The path to developing chronic diseases commonly commences with lifestyle patterns developed during childhood and adolescence. This study examined whether parent physical activity and other factors correlated with physical activity amongst children are associated with self-reported physical activity in adolescents.
Methods: A total of 115 adolescents (aged 12-14) and their parents completed questionnaire assessments. Self-reported physical activity was measured amongst adolescents and their parents using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (IPAQ-A), and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) respectively. Adolescents also completed the Children’s Physical Activity Correlates (CPAC), which measured factors that have previously demonstrated association with physical activity amongst children. To examine whether parent physical activity or items from the CPAC were associated with self-reported adolescent physical activity, backward step-wise regression was undertaken. One item was removed at each step in descending order of significance (until two tailed item alpha=0.05 was achieved).
A total of 93 (80.9%) adolescents and their parents had complete data sets and were included in the analysis. Independent variables were removed in the order: perceptions of parental role modeling; importance of exercise; perceptions of parental encouragement; peer acceptance; fun of physical exertion; perceived competence; parent physical activity; self-esteem; liking of exercise; and parental influence. The only variable remaining in the model was ‘liking of games and sport’ (p=0.003, adjusted r-squared=0.085).
Discussion: These findings indicate that factors associated with self-reported physical activity in adolescents are not necessarily the same as younger children (aged 8-11). While ‘liking of games and sport’ was included in the final model, the r-squared value did not indicate a strong association. Interestingly, parent self-reported physical activity was not included in the final model. It is likely that adolescent physical activity may be influenced by a variety of direct and indirect forms of socialization. These findings do support the view that intrinsically motivated themes such as the liking of games and sport take precedence over outside influences, like those presented by parents, in determining youth physical activity behaviors. These findings do not suggest that parents have no influence on adolescent physical activity patterns, but rather, the influence is likely to be more complex than physical activity behavior modeling perceived by the adolescent. Further research in this field is warranted in order to better understand potential contributors to successful physical activity promotion interventions amongst young adolescents.
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