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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Personality as a factor in parental encouragement and parent-child TV and physical activity

item Anderson, Cheryl

Submitted to: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/30/2007
Publication Date: 5/30/2007
Citation: Anderson, C. 2007. Personality as a factor in parental encouragement and parent-child TV and physical activity [abstract]. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 39(Suppl.5):S86.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Our purpose was to evaluate the relation of personality to parent TV watching, physical activity (PA), and encouragement for child PA as parental influences on child TV and PA. Structural equation modeling (LISREL 8.7) was used to examine cross-sectional responses from 674 parents (63.0% female, 55.8% white, 26.2% Hispanic) and 433 children from 4th and 5th grade (53.5% female, mean age =9.9 yrs). Parents completed the NEO-FFI and Modifiable Activity Questionnaire, children completed the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children, and both completed PA encouragement measures. Latent-variable path analyses by child-gender (boy model RMSEA = .041, NNFI = .95, CFI= .96; girl model RMSEA = .043, NNFI= .94, CFI =.96) showed that the Big Five trait Extraversion was significantly, positively related to parent PA and encouragement of child PA in both boys and girls Ex->parent PA:y=.23 boys, .26 girls; Ex->Encouragement by parent: y =.30 boys, .38 girls). Child beliefs on parental encouragement significantly mediated the effects of parents Extraversion and encouragement by parent on child PA in both boys and girls, and on child TV in boys. In girls, parental Openness was significantly, positively related to parental PA (y =.21) and negatively related to parental TV (y=-.18), and its indirect effect on child TV through parental TV was also significant. Also only in girls, parental Neuroticism (y=-.22) and Agreeableness (y=-.18) were significantly associated with less parental PA, but there were no indirect effects on child PA. Direct parental modeling of TV and PA differed by gender of child. Stronger associations between parent and child TV were found for boys (beta = .44) than girls (beta = .22) but stronger associations between parent and child PA were found for girls (beta = .22) rather than boys (beta = .08 ns). Parent personality traits were more associated with parental PA than TV. Except for Openness among parents of girls, the significant parental modeling of TV that was present in girls and boys, and modeling of PA in girls, seemed to not be driven by parent personality traits. Rather, parent personality, specifically Extraversion, affected child behavior through parental encouragement of child, and this was regardless of child gender.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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