Exploring Mothers' Influence on Preschoolers' Physical Activity and Sedentary Time: A Cross Sectional Study.Matern Child Health J. 2018 07; 22(7):978-985.MC
Objectives Physical activity patterns can track from childhood into adulthood; therefore, establishing active behaviors early is imperative. Given the multidimensional nature of a mother's influence on their children, there is a need to utilize more comprehensive measures to assess the relationship between mother and child activity behaviors. Specifically, mothers have been identified as influencing preschoolers' activity behaviors and are often in control of organizing a family's opportunities to be active. The purpose of this study was to explore maternal influence on preschoolers' physical activity and sedentary time. Methods Preschoolers (n = 24) and their mothers (n = 24) wore Actical™ accelerometers for 7 consecutive days (e.g., 5 weekday, 2 weekend days), and mothers completed the adapted Environmental Determinants of Physical Activity in Preschool Children-Parent Survey. Direct entry regression analyses were conducted to explore maternal influence (e.g., role modeling through mothers' activity levels, maternal support, and enjoyment of being active) on preschoolers' activity levels. Results Maternal support was found to be a significant predictor of preschoolers' light and moderate-vigorous physical activity, and sedentary time (p < .05); accounting for 37.3-46.7% of the variation. Conclusions for Practice Mothers supportive behaviors influenced preschoolers' physical activity and sedentary time. Future research is needed to investigate facilitators/barriers that mothers with preschoolers encounter with regard to providing support to be active or modeling active behaviors themselves.