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Parental Influences on Preschoolers’ Physical Activity

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Tzavara, A.1, Tzetzis, G.2*, Pavlidou, E.1

1School of Early Childhood Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
2Department of Physical Education & Sport Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

*Contact Corresponding Author: email


Physical activity (PA) offers significant benefits to physical and mental health of children. Despite the benefits of physical activity, the majority of children worldwide does not meet the current physical activity recommendations. Even though research data on the actual levels of physical activity in preschoolers is insufficient, internationally and in Greece, parent-child interactions and kindergarten, appear as the most important correlates of PA in children. The purpose of this study was to evaluate preschoolers’ PA levels at home and in kindergarten as well as to investigate the degree of influence of physical activity of parents and their related perceptions on the physical activity of their children. Questionnaires evaluating parental PA and parental perceptions of PA and children’s PA levels at home were distributed to parents while children’s PA levels were evaluated during schooling hours for five consecutive days, using pedometers. Two regression analyses were conducted to investigate parental influences on children’s PA levels at home and in kindergarten. Results showed that the parental influences (parental PA, enjoyment of PA, importance of child’s PA, perceptions of child’s competence and parental support) did not predicted children’s PA levels neither at home nor at kindergarten. These results are likely to be explained by the lack of parents’ and educators’ relevant knowledge on PA and sufficient time and the insufficient technical infrastructure of day care centers to support children’s physical motivation. Further investigation of the influential factors on preschoolers’ PA levels in the home and school environment, is necessary as well as the development of appropriate family and day-care intervention programs to promote children’s PA during the preschool years.

Keywords: physical activity, pre-school age, parents’ perceptions, parental influence[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_single_image img_link_target=”_self” title=”Download full text in PDF” image=”1084″ img_link=”https://panrcy.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/PANRar_15003.pdf”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]