Maternal and paternal support for physical activity and healthy eating in preschool children: A cross-sectional study

Schoeppe, Stephanie & Trost, Stewart G. (2015) Maternal and paternal support for physical activity and healthy eating in preschool children: A cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 15, Article number-971.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

  • Parental support is a key influence on children's health behaviours; however, no previous investigation has simultaneously explored the influence of mothers' and fathers' social support on eating and physical activity in preschool-aged children. This study evaluated the singular and combined effects of maternal and paternal support for physical activity (PA) and fruit and vegetable consumption (FV) on preschoolers' PA and FV.

METHODS

  • A random sample comprising 173 parent-child dyads completed validated scales assessing maternal and paternal instrumental support and child PA and FV behaviour. Pearson correlations, controlling for child age, parental age, and parental education, were used to evaluate relationships between maternal and paternal support and child PA and FV. K-means cluster analysis was used to identify families with distinct patterns of maternal and paternal support for PA and FV, and one-way ANOVA examined the impact of cluster membership on child PA and FV.

RESULTS

  • Maternal and paternal support for PA were positively associated with child PA (r = 0.37 and r = 0.36, respectively; P < 0.001). Maternal but not paternal support for FV was positively associated with child FV (r = 0.35; P < 0.001). Five clusters characterised groups of families with distinct configurations of maternal and paternal support for PA and FV: 1) above average maternal and paternal support for PA and FV, 2) below average maternal and paternal support for PA and FV, 3) above average maternal and paternal support for PA but below average maternal and paternal support for FV, 4) above average maternal and paternal support for FV but below average maternal and paternal support for PA, and 5) above average maternal support but below average paternal support for PA and FV. Children from families with above average maternal and paternal support for both health behaviours had higher PA and FV levels than children from families with above average support for just one health behaviour, or below average support for both behaviours.

CONCLUSIONS

  • The level and consistency of instrumental support from mothers and fathers for PA and FV may be an important target for obesity prevention in preschool-aged children.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 92457
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Social support – Mother – Father – Diet – Active play – Cross-sectional – Survey
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-015-2318-9
ISSN: 1471-2458
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: 2015 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Deposited On: 01 Feb 2016 00:42
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2016 05:23

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