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Res Q Exerc Sport. 1998 Jun;69(2):163-75.

Parental beliefs and children's moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

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Department of Physical Education, Health, and Sport Studies, Miami University, USA.


The present study was guided by the Family Influence Model to examine the role of parental beliefs in their children's moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The specific purposes were to (1) examine the nature of a parental belief system that may be relevant to children's MVPA participation, (2) determine if parental beliefs regarding their children's MVPA are gender related, (3) examine the relationship between parents' exercise behavior and children's MVPA participation, and (4) investigate the strength of the relationship between parental beliefs and children's self-reported MVPA. The participants for this study included 81 children (26 girls and 55 boys) between the ages of 11 and 15 years and their parents (n = 142). Significant findings were: (1) descriptive evidence of a parental belief system for children's MVPA existed, (2) mothers and fathers differed in their MVPA-related beliefs for their child, (3) no relationship was found between parents' exercise behavior and children's MVPA participation, and (4) parental beliefs relating to their children, especially perceptions of competence and a task orientation, were significantly related to the amount of children's MVPA participation. These findings support the basic tenets of the Family Influence Model and suggest that parental beliefs should be taken into consideration to better understand the psychosocial process underlying children's participation in fitness-oriented physical activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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