The relationship between parental and sibling physical activity patterns
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between parent and sibling self-reports of physical activity and expose a rationale for any relationship. This would allow for precise interventions to be proposed, maximising child activity. For analysis, 148 children (77 female, 71 male) and their most active parent (86 female, 62 male) completed a series of concise inventories to ascertain the intensity, duration, site and context of their physical activity. The child sample was taken from two middle class comprehensive schools in Worcestershire, England. Children completed their questionnaires within a Physical Education (PE) lesson and were instructed to pass on the parental instrument to their most active parent. Groups were examined through measures of (a) physical activity over the last seven days (b) inter group acknowledgements (c) activity preferences (d) socialisation. This was done via modified instruments of previous research. Data was analysed using SPSS and Pearson’s Correlations to deduce the significance and strength of the correlation between groups. Minitab and Excel programmes supplemented these findings with descriptive, interval and nominal data. The prominent findings were that (a) no significant correlation was found between the activity patterns of parents and their siblings (b) 51% of parents and 39% of children did not adhere to recommended levels of activity (c) parental attitudes, beliefs and goal orientations towards physical activity were positive in nature (d) the majority of parental activity was completed on the way to work or as part of work. These finding support proposals that the arbitrator of sibling physical activity is the beliefs, attitudes and orientations of their parents and that both groups are not completing sufficient activity to alleviate the health risk factors. These findings were rationalised by data suggesting children to be isolated from the activity of their parents, a basis from which future research and interventions should stem.
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