Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2017

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Kinesiology and Health

First Advisor

Emily Hill Guseman

Abstract

The obesity epidemic has been rising in magnitude for several decades and has spread its influence to include children of all ages. Much research has been done to examine the effect that physical activity (PA) has on an individual's weighty. The amount of PA that children participate in is mediated by various factors: high socioeconomic status, more green space, having a sibling, and parental support for PA are all associated with greater child PA. While all of these factors influence PA participation, their concurrent effect is unknown. A holistic perspective is imperative to the understanding of childhood PA, as children are not experiencing just one of these influences at a given time.

The purpose of this project was to determine how family characteristics, including number of siblings and socioeconomic status, are associated with parental behaviors, knowledge, and beliefs regarding child's PA. A secondary goal was to determine how child PA varies according to family characteristics. Of special interest is the role of siblings and birth order in determining preschooler PA (min/day) and whether or not children participate in rough & tumble play. Parent and family characteristics, child PA, and parental knowledge and beliefs regarding child PA were assessed via a web-based survey (modified Preschool Physical Activity Questionnaire, Pre-PAQ). Linear regression and logistic regression analyses were used to determine variation in child PA and parenting behaviors according to family characteristics.

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