PARENTAL INFLUENCES UPON CHILDREN IN RELATION TO PARTICIPATION RATES IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND WHETHER THIS INFLUENCE IS SUSTAINED THROUGH TO ADULTHOOD
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Sport and physical activity rates are growing concerns for many of the government’s policies and health professionals. This qualitative study investigates the influences that parents have upon their children’s participation rates and whether this influence is sustained through to adulthood. The participants involved were six parents (of physically active children) and six university students. The parents were of physically active children from an Athletics Academy and were approached via a letter. The students attended Cardiff Metropolitan University and were approached by a similar letter. The participants were interviewed in focus groups and were asked about their own present and past experiences regarding sport and physical activity. The results from the study showed that parents do have a significant influence over their children’s participation rates and this positive influence is maintained through to adulthood. The key findings from the study were: 1. Attitudes have changed towards sport over the last three generations. 2. Active parents and families correlate with active children. 3. School and University do have a big impact on the participation rates of students. 4. Of both samples interviewed, all had positive attitudes towards sport. 5. Parents do have a substantial influence over children’s participation rates. Future recommendations for the sport industry and for future research were also suggested. Sport practitioners are advised to consider their initiatives in light of the research undertaken, whilst the research can be developed further by broadening the data collection to various populations to gain a more in depth analysis.
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