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J Phys Act Health. 2010 Nov;7(6):776-83.

Correlates of children and parents being physically active together.

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  • 1Division of Adolescent and School Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.



Co-physical activity (between parents and children), as an outcome variable, and its correlates have not been examined previously. The purpose of this study was to investigate correlates of co-physical activity among a nationally representative sample of 9- to 13-year-old children and their parents.


Data were from the 2004 Youth Media Campaign Longitudinal Survey, a national survey of 5177 child-parent dyads. Parents of 9- to 13-year-old children were asked to report co-physical activity. Parents and children responded to a series of sociodemographic, behavioral, and psychosocial measures. Co-physical activity was treated as a dichotomous variable (ie, some or none). Logistic regression was used to assess associations of correlates directly and possible interactions between correlates.


More than three-quarters of parents reported co-physical activity at least 1 day in the prior week. Age, race/ethnicity, sports team participation, eating meals together, parental confidence to influence the child's organized activity, and the child's perception of parental support were significantly associated with co-physical activity.


The majority of respondents reported participating in co-physical activity, and multiple sociodemographic, behavioral, and psychosocial correlates were significantly associated with co-physical activity. This study provides insight for physical activity interventions that might involve parents.

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