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Children's physical activity and screen time : qualitative comparison of views of parents of infants and preschool children

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journal contribution
posted on 2012-12-28, 00:00 authored by Kylie HeskethKylie Hesketh, Trina Hinkley, Karen CampbellKaren Campbell
Background
While parents are central to the development of behaviours in their young children, little is known about how parents view their role in shaping physical activity and screen time behaviours.

Methods
Using an unstructured focus group design, parental views and practices around children′s physical activity and screen time (television and computer use) were explored with eight groups of new parents (n=61; child age <12 months) and eight groups of parents with preschool-aged (3–5 year old) children (n=36) in Melbourne, Australia.

Results
Parents generally believed children are naturally active, which may preclude their engagement in strategies designed to increase physical activity. While parents across both age groups shared many overarching views concerning parenting for children′s physical activity and screen time behaviours, some strategies and barriers differed depending on the age of the child. While most new parents were optimistic about their ability to positively influence their child′s behaviours, many parents of preschool-aged children seemed more resigned to strategies that worked for them, even when aware such strategies may not be ideal.

Conclusions
Interventions aiming to increase children′s physical activity and decrease screen time may need to tailor strategies to the age group of the child and address parents′ misconceptions and barriers to optimum parenting in these domains.

History

Journal

International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity

Volume

9

Issue

152

Pagination

1 - 14

Publisher

BioMed Central

Location

London, England

ISSN

1479-5868

Language

eng

Notes

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2012, Hesketh et al.