Family Ecological Predictors of Physical Activity Parenting in Low-Income Families
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Physical activity (PA) parenting, or strategies parents use to promote PA in children, has beenassociated with increased PA in children of all ages, including preschool-aged children. However,little is known about the circumstances under which parents adopt such behaviors. Thisstudy examined family ecological factors associated with PA parenting. Low-income parents(N = 145) of preschool-aged children (aged 2 to 5 years) were recruited from five Head Startcenters in upstate New York. Guided by the family ecological model (FEM), parents completedsurveys assessing PA parenting and relevant family and community factors. Hierarchicalregression analysis identified independent predictors of PA parenting. Parent depressive symptoms,life pressures that interfere with PA and perceived empowerment to access PA resourceswere associated with PA parenting. Community factors, including neighborhood play safetyand social capital, were not independently associated with PA parenting in the multivariatemodel. Together, family ecological factors accounted for a large proportion of the variance inPA parenting (R2 = .37). Findings highlight the need to look beyond cognitive predictors of PAparenting in low-income families and to examine the impact of their broader life circumstancesincluding indicators of stress.
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