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Understanding Parental Support of Child Physical Activity Behavior

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Objective: To examine parental support of child physical activity with an adapted theory of planned behavior model. Methods: A representative sample of Canadian mothers (N = 663) who completed measures of family priorities, social cognition, and child physical activity. Results: An assessment of family priorities showed that mothers ranked physical activity almost as high as homework and far higher than other activities. Attitude about providing support for child physical activity predicted intention, yet only perceived control over support predicted behavior. Conclusions: Mothers perceive great import of physical activity for their children but they are inhibited by a low perception of control.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Behavioural Medicine Laboratory, School of Exercise Science, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada 2: University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada 3: Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 4: University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 5: Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada 6: Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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