Evaluating a model of parental influence on youth physical activity

Trost, S.G., Sallis, J.F., Pate, R.R., Freedson, P.S., Taylor, W.C., & Dowda, M. (2003) Evaluating a model of parental influence on youth physical activity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 25(4), pp. 277-282.

View at publisher



To test a conceptual model linking parental physical activity orientations, parental support for physical activity, and children's self-efficacy perceptions with physical activity participation.

Participants and setting

The sample consisted of 380 students in grades 7 through 12 (mean age, 14.0±1.6 years) and their parents. Data collection took place during the fall of 1996.

Main outcome measures

Parents completed a questionnaire assessing their physical activity habits, enjoyment of physical activity, beliefs regarding the importance of physical activity, and supportive behaviors for their child's physical activity. Students completed a 46-item inventory assessing physical activity during the previous 7 days and a 5-item physical activity self-efficacy scale. The model was tested via observed variable path analysis using structural equation modeling techniques (AMOS 4.0).


An initial model, in which parent physical activity orientations predicted child physical activity via parental support and child self-efficacy, did not provide an acceptable fit to the data. Inclusion of a direct path from parental support to child physical activity and deletion of a nonsignificant path from parental physical activity to child physical activity significantly improved model fit. Standardized path coefficients for the revised model ranged from 0.17 to 0.24, and all were significant at the p<0.0001 level.


Parental support was an important correlate of youth physical activity, acting directly or indirectly through its influence on self-efficacy. Physical activity interventions targeted at youth should include and evaluate the efficacy of individual-level and community-level strategies to increase parents’ capacity to provide instrumental and motivational support for their children's physical activity.

Impact and interest:

331 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
289 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 71496
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, Medicine, General & Internal, Familial Aggregation, Children, Exercise, Adolescents, Interventions, Determinants, Attraction, Framework, Students, Fitness
DOI: 10.1016/S0749-3797(03)00217-4
ISSN: 0749-3797
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Deposited On: 13 May 2014 03:58
Last Modified: 13 May 2014 03:58

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page