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12-06-2017 | Original Paper | Uitgave 11/2017 Open Access

Journal of Child and Family Studies 11/2017

Parents’ Social Status and Children’s Daily Physical Activity: The Role of Familial Socialization and Support

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 11/2017
Michael Mutz, Peggy Albrecht


Physical activity is a health relevant factor, particularly in affluent societies where overweight and obesity are increasingly prevalent, even among children. Understanding the development of physical activity patterns in childhood is thus an important issue for health promotion. Following socialization theory, this study describes and explains differences in objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in a socially and ethnically mixed sample of 6- to 11-year-old children in Germany. MVPA levels were objectively measured with accelerometers over the course of six consecutive days (Wednesday to Monday). Parents’ attitudes and practices as well as the family’s socio-economic status (SES) were assessed from the parents via questionnaires. Results indicate that MVPA levels of children vary with gender, but not with age and ethnicity. Moreover, parental SES, parental support for the child’s sports activities, parents’ own sport activities and the parents’ belief in sports’ capacities to foster personality development, character building and social integration significantly predict the MVPA level of children. It is concluded that interventions to promote MVPA among children need to take family interactions and lifestyles into account and should address families in socio-economically underprivileged areas.

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