Location: Children's Nutrition Research CenterTitle: Exploring correlates of preschool-aged children's locomotor skills: Individual and parent demographics and home environment
|SZESZULSKI, JACOB - University Of Texas Health Science Center|
|LORENZO, ELIZABETH - Arizona State University|
|O'CONNOR, TERESIA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)|
|HILL, JENNIE - University Of Nebraska|
|SHAIBI, GABRIEL - Arizona State University|
|BUMAN, MATTHEW - Arizona State University|
|VEGA-LOPEZ, SONIA - Arizona State University|
|HOOKER, STEVEN - San Diego State University|
|LEE, REBECCA - Arizona State University|
Submitted to: Perceptual and Motor Skills
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/19/2020
Publication Date: 12/20/2020
Citation: Szeszulski, J., Lorenzo, E., O'Connor, T., Hill, J.L., Shaibi, G.Q., Buman, M.P., Vega-Lopez, S., Hooker, S.P., Lee, R.E. 2020. Exploring correlates of preschool-aged children's locomotor skills: Individual and parent demographics and home environment. Perceptual and Motor Skills. https://doi.org/10.1177/0031512520980938.
Interpretive Summary: Hispanic children are at a higher risk for developing obesity and associated medical conditions as they get older. Encouraging behaviors that promote healthy weights, such as physical activity (PA), is therefore important at an early age. Children tend to be more active if their skills to be physically active, such as fitness and locomotor development, are stronger. Understanding correlates of such skills may help identify targets for future obesity prevention programs among this high risk group of children. This study is a secondary analyses of baseline, cross-sectional data from a larger Garden-Based curriculum to promote healthy eating and PA among low-income, primarily Hispanic preschool aged children. One-hundred and forty-four parent-child dyads were recruited. Children completed the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) and the CHAMPS Motor Skills Protocol (CMSP), which are established methods to measure their fitness and locomotor skills. Parents completed a demographic survey, the Physical Activity Parenting Practices (PA-PP) questionnaire developed for Hispanic parents of preschoolers, and a home-based PA resources survey. The associations of the demographics, PA-PP, and home PA resources were explored. Overall, 142 children completed the PACER, and 91 completed the CMSP. A child's age was positively associated with both the PACER and CMSP scores, and girls had lower PACER scores than boys. In the home environment, higher PA-PP promotion of more screen time was associated with a higher child PACER scores and higher PA-PP concern for children's safety was associated with a lower PACER scores. These findings suggest that early educational centers need to promote greater locomotor skill development among girls, and help parents identify and use safe and convenient PA spaces (e.g., parks, school campuses) for children to promote locomotor skill development.
Technical Abstract: We examined individual and parental demographics and home environment factors associated with locomotor skills in predominantly Hispanic preschool-aged children. We used questionnaires to survey parents, included inquiries regarding parenting practices, parents' physical activity levels, and home-based physical activity resources; and we administered the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) and the CHAMPS Motor Skills Protocol (CMSP) to children to measure the quantity and quality of their locomotor skills. Participants were 144 parents and their children (78.9% Hispanic, 49.3% girls) recruited from urban, community-based childcare and education centers. We examined the relationship between survey measures and PACER and CMSP scores with forward-selection stepwise linear regression models. Overall, 142 children completed the PACER, and 91 completed the CMSP. At the individual level, a child's age was positively associated with both PACER and CMSP scores, and girls had lower PACER scores than boys. In the home environment, parental promotion of more screen time was associated with a higher children's PACER score. In addition, higher parent concern for children's safety was associated with a lower PACER score. We identified several physical activity pro-moting parent practices as new home environment factors related to the preschool-aged children's locomotor development. Additional studies are needed to test new hypotheses generated from these data.