Family and Social Influences on Children's Physical Activity and Participation in a Community Sporting Event

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Conference Proceeding

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Publication Details

This conference presentation was originally published as:

Herman, W., Naughton, G., Morton D. & Morey, P. (2008, October). Family and social influences on children's physical activity and participation in a community sporting event. Poster presented at the ASICS Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport, Hamilton Island, Australia.


110602 Exercise Physiology

Reportable Items



Purpose: The primary purpose of this study was to assess the influence of family and other social factors predictive of children's participation in regular physical activity (PA). A second aim of the study was to explore the barriersto children's participation in a community sporting event-the Sanirtarium TRYathlon. Methods: A survey instrument was administered to 210 students in Years 4, 5, and 6 and their parents. The students answered questions relating to their participation in PA, self-efficacy for PA, and barriers to participation in PA. Parents completed a survey that elucidated supportive behaviours towards their child's PA and profiled their child's typical weekly PA.
Factors influencing the child's participation in the school-promoted Sanitarium TRYathlon were explored.Results: Using path analysis, results showed there was a strong positive correlation between parental encouragement and the students involvement in both organised and unorganised physical activity (r=O.44). Correspondingly, the major barriers to participation in the TRYathlon were alternative family plans (52%) and lack of transport to the event (32%). Overall, the children reported high levels of self-esteem and self-efficacy towards PA, butthis had no influence on their involvement in organised nr unorganised physical activity. Conclusion:These findings provide further evidence that the parent remains among one of the greatest influences on children's PA habits.


Due to copyright restrictions this poster is unavailable for download.

At the time of writing Wendi Herman was affiliated with Australian Catholic University

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