Measurement of general and specific approaches to physical activity parenting : a systematic review

Trost, Stewart G., McDonald, Samantha, & Cohen, Alysia (2013) Measurement of general and specific approaches to physical activity parenting : a systematic review. Childhood Obesity, 9(s1), S40-S50.

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Parents play a significant role in shaping youth physical activity (PA). However, interventions targeting PA parenting have been ineffective. Methodological inconsistencies related to the measurement of parental influences may be a contributing factor. The purpose of this article is to review the extant peer-reviewed literature related to the measurement of general and specific parental influences on youth PA.


A systematic review of studies measuring constructs of PA parenting was conducted. Computerized searches were completed using PubMed, MEDLINE, Academic Search Premier, SPORTDiscus, and PsycINFO. Reference lists of the identified articles were manually reviewed as well as the authors' personal collections. Articles were selected on the basis of strict inclusion criteria and details regarding the measurement protocols were extracted. A total of 117 articles met the inclusionary criteria. Methodological articles that evaluated the validity and reliability of PA parenting measures (n=10) were reviewed separately from parental influence articles (n=107).


A significant percentage of studies used measures with indeterminate validity and reliability. A significant percentage of articles did not provide sample items, describe the response format, or report the possible range of scores. No studies were located that evaluated sensitivity to change.


The reporting of measurement properties and the use of valid and reliable measurement scales need to be improved considerably.

Impact and interest:

10 citations in Scopus
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9 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 71524
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1089/chi.2013.0027
ISSN: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Copyright Statement: This is a copy of an article published in the Childhood Obesity © 2013 [copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.]; [Childhood Obesity] is available online at:
Deposited On: 13 May 2014 22:46
Last Modified: 15 May 2014 03:28

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