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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: What Hispanic parents do to encourage and discourage 3-5 year old children to be active: A qualitative study using nominal group technique

Authors
item O'Connor, Teresia -
item Cerin, Ester -
item Hughes, Sheryl -
item Robles, Jessica -
item Thompson, Deborah
item Baranowski, Tom -
item Lee, Rebecca -
item Nicklas, Theresa -
item Shewchuk, Richard -

Submitted to: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 2, 2013
Publication Date: August 2, 2013
Citation: O'Connor, T.M., Cerin, E., Hughes, S.O., Robles, J., Thompson, D.J., Baranowski, T., Lee, R.E., Nicklas, T., Shewchuk, R.M. 2013. What Hispanic parents do to encourage and discourage 3-5 year old children to be active: A qualitative study using nominal group technique. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 10:93.

Interpretive Summary: Engaging in physical activity is important for children to maintain healthy weights. Yet, Hispanic pre-schoolers may be less active than their non-Hispanic peers. Among young children, parents are an important influence of their behaviors, including physical activity. To identify what parents do to encourage or discourage physical activity among Hispanic 3- to 5-year-old children a qualitative study was completed using Nominal Group Technique (NGT). NGT is a structured multi-step group procedure used to elicit and prioritize responses from participants. Ten groups of Hispanic parents took part in the study regarding what parents do to encourage (5 groups) or discourage (5 groups) pre-school aged children to be active. Five groups consisted of parents with low education (less than high school) and 5 with high education (high school or greater). The five NGT groups that responded on ways to encourage physical activity among pre-schoolers identified parental engagement in child activities, modeling PA, and feeding the child well as parenting practices that encourage child PA. The five NGT groups that addressed what parents do to discourage physical activity for their child identified allowing TV and video game use, psychological control, physical or emotional abuse, and lack of parental engagement as parenting practices that discourage children from being active. There were few differences in the pattern of responses by education level. Hispanic parents identified ways they encourage and discourage 3- to 5-year olds from PA, suggesting both are important targets for pediatric physical activity interventions.

Technical Abstract: Hispanic pre-schoolers are less active than their non-Hispanic peers. As part of a feasibility study to assess environmental and parenting influences on pre-schooler physical activity (PA) (Ninos Activos), the aim of this study was to identify what parents do to encourage or discourage PA among Hispanic 3- to 5-year old children to inform the development of a new PA parenting practice instrument and future interventions to increase PA among Hispanic youth. Nominal Group Technique (NGT), a structured multi-step group procedure, was used to elicit and prioritize responses from 10 groups of Hispanic parents regarding what parents do to encourage (5 groups) or discourage (5 groups) pre-school aged children to be active. Five groups consisted of parents with low education (less than high school) and 5 with high education (high school or greater) distributed between the two NGT questions. Ten NGT groups (n = 74, range 4-11/group) generated 20-46 and 42-69 responses/group for practices that encourage or discourage PA, respectively. Eight to 18 responses/group were elected as the most likely to encourage or discourage PA. Parental engagement in child activities, modeling PA, and feeding the child well were identified as parenting practices that encourage child PA. Allowing TV and video game use, psychological control, physical or emotional abuse, and lack of parental engagement emerged as parenting practices that discourage children from being active. There were few differences in the pattern of responses by education level. Parents identified ways they encourage and discourage 3- to 5-year olds from PA, suggesting both are important targets for interventions. These will inform the development of a new PA parenting practice scale to be further evaluated. Further research should explore the role parents play in discouraging child PA, especially in using psychological control or submitting children to abuse, which were new findings in this study.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014