Parents' perceptions of children's physical activities

  • Ka Man Leung

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


In reviewing the existing literature, not many researchers have examined children's physical activity (PA) from the parents' perspectives. No study has investigated parents' perceptions on children's PA in Hong Kong. Furthermore, information of parents' perceptions on children's PA was generated mainly in the USA or European countries. Similar studies should be conducted in China or in Hong Kong so to obtain more information on this subject by using Chinese as the research samples. Purpose of the study: This study aims to: a) examine the associations between parents' perceptions on children's competences, neighborhood safety, exercise benefits and exercise barriers, parental support, and children' s PA, and b) determine which socio­demographic variables significantly differ from the above studied constructs. Methods: Parents of 625 children aged 6 to 9 years old participated in the study. Parents were asked to complete a questionnaire assessing parental support for their children's PA, perceived children competence, neighborhood safety, and benefit and barriers of PA. Parents were also asked to report their children' PA outside school time over seven days using the modified Physical Activity Questionnaires for Children (MPAQ-C). Structural Equation Modeling and multiple ANOV A were used to examine the relationship between parents' perceptions and reported children's PA. Results: (1) Only parental support could predict children's PA; (2) Both parents' perceived competence oftheir children and perceived exercise benefits of their children could predict parental support and, in turn, increase children' s PA; (3) Parents' education and income levels were found different from their perceived exercise benefits and barriers, perceived neighborhood safety, and parent's perceived competence ofchildren; (4) Single parents tend to have lower perceived neighborhood safety; and (5) Parents of sons are likely to have higher perceived children exercise benefits, parental support, exercise competence as well as more active sons. PA interventions in Hong Kong children should focus on increasing parental support, enhancing parents' confidence and motivation to promote their children's PA by giving positive feedback, acting as active role model, and facilitating participation in PA.
Date of Award21 Jul 2014
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorPak-Kwong CHUNG (Supervisor)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Physical education and training
  • Study and teaching (Elementary)

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