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Prev Med. 1993 Nov;22(6):880-9.

Determinants of exercise in children.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Missouri-Columbia 65211.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The recognition that children are surprisingly inactive and that lifetime health beliefs and behavior patterns are formed in childhood has emphasized the need to examine the acquisition of exercise behavior in children. Although research has shown social learning theory variables to be relevant to the study of exercise determinants in an adult population, there has been little study done with child populations. The purpose of the present study was to explore the factors that may influence a child's level of physical activity.

METHODS:

Two hundred forty-two 5th- and 6th-grade children and their mothers were interviewed. It was hypothesized that several social learning variables would exert a particularly strong influence on level of physical activity of children.

RESULTS:

Regression analysis results indicated that salient predictor variables for boys included enjoyment of physical activity, friend and family support for physical activity, mother's perceived barriers to exercise, and mother's perceived family support for exercise. For girls, the salient predictor variables included enjoyment of physical activity, number of exercise-related items at home, mother's perceived family support for physical activity, mother's perceived barriers to exercise, and direct parental modeling of physical activity.

CONCLUSIONS:

It appears that social learning variables may be important correlates of physical activity in children.

PMID:
8115345
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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