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Title: Physical activity parenting measurement and research: Challenges, explanations, and solutions

item DAVISON, KIRSTEN - Harvard School Of Public Health
item MASSE, LOUISE - University Of British Columbia
item TIMPERIO, ANNA - Deakin University
item FRENN, MARILYN - Marquette University
item SAUNDERS, JULIE - University Of Western Australia
item MENDOZA, JASON - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item GOBBI, ERICA - University Of Padua
item HANSON, PHILLIP - University Of North Carolina
item TROST, STEWART - University Of Queensland

Submitted to: Childhood Obesity
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/5/2013
Publication Date: 8/1/2013
Citation: Davison, K.K., Masse, L.C., Timperio, A., Frenn, M.D., Saunders, J., Mendoza, J.A., Gobbi, E., Hanson, P., Trost, S.G. 2013. Physical activity parenting measurement and research: Challenges, explanations, and solutions. Childhood Obesity. 9(Suppl 1):S103-S109.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Physical activity (PA) parenting research has proliferated over the past decade, with findings verifying the influential role that parents play in children's emerging PA behaviors. This knowledge, however, has not translated into effective family-based PA interventions. During a preconference workshop to the 2012 International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity annual meeting, a PA parenting workgroup met to: (1) Discuss challenges in PA parenting research that may limit its translation, (2) identify explanations or reasons for such challenges, and (3) recommend strategies for future research. Challenges discussed by the workgroup included a proliferation of disconnected and inconsistently measured constructs, a limited understanding of the dimensions of PA parenting, and a narrow conceptualization of hypothesized moderators of the relationship between PA parenting and child PA. Potential reasons for such challenges emphasized by the group included a disinclination to employ theory when developing measures and examining predictors and outcomes of PA parenting as well as a lack of agreed-upon measurement standards. Suggested solutions focused on the need to link PA parenting research with general parenting research, define and adopt rigorous standards of measurement, and identify new methods to assess PA parenting. As an initial step toward implementing these recommendations, the workgroup developed a conceptual model that: (1) Integrates parenting dimensions from the general parenting literature into the conceptualization of PA parenting, (2) draws on behavioral and developmental theory, and (3) emphasizes areas which have been neglected to date including precursors to PA parenting and effect modifiers.