Family and individual predictors and mediators of adolescent physical activity
More details
Hide details
Department of Child and Adolescent Health, Institute of Mother and Child, Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2016-07-19
Final revision date: 2016-09-13
Acceptance date: 2016-09-13
Online publication date: 2017-06-13
Publication date: 2017-05-29
Health Psychology Report 2017;5(4):333-344
In recent years, many reviews of research have demonstrated that the correlations between the physical activity of children and their parents are not as obvious as was once believed. Family factors constitute determinants of children’s physical activity; however, this influence can be mediated by other factors. The aim of the analyses was to examine the mechanisms of the relationships between parental and individual factors: to examine whether parental modelling of physical activity and parental support are direct and indirect predictors of children’s physical activity and whether self-efficacy is a mediator of these relationships.

Participants and procedure
Data from 1,287 Polish adolescents aged 14 to 18 were analysed. The study used questions and scales regarding perceived parental modelling of physical activity (perceived parental physical activity and joint activities), received parental support, and self-efficacy, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and vigorous physical activity (VPA) of adolescents. Statistical analyses included partial correlations, regression analyses and structural equation modelling.

It was found that self-efficacy, support, gender and parental modelling are independent predictors of physical activity in adolescents; the strongest predictors are self-efficacy and support. Support was a mediator of the relationship between modelling and physical activity and between modelling and self-efficacy. Self-efficacy was a mediator of the relationship between support and physical activity.

Parental physical activity, as well as parents’ engagement in joint activity and children’s activity, strengthens self-efficacy in adolescents and predisposes young people to maintain physically active behaviour.
Aarnio, M., Winter, T., Kujala, U. M., & Kaprio, J. (1997). Familial aggregation of leisure-time physical activity – a three generation study. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 18, 549–556.
Anderson-Bill, E. S., Winett, R. A., & Wojcik, J. R. (2011). Social cognitive determinants of nutrition and physical activity among web-health users enrolling in an online intervention: the influence of social support, self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and self-regulation. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 13, e28. doi: 10.2196/jmir.1551.
Anderssen, N., Wold, B., & Torsheim, T. (2006). Are parental health habits transmitted to their children? An eight year longitudinal study of physical activity in adolescents and their parents. Journal of Adolescence, 29, 513–524. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence. 2005.05.011.
Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavior change. Psychological Review, 84, 191–215.
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman.
Barrera, M. (1986). Distinctions between social support concepts, measures, and models. American Journal of Community Psychology, 14, 413–445.
Beets, M. W., Cardinal, B. J., & Alderman, B. L. (2010). Parental social support and the physical activity-related behaviors of youth: A review. Health Education & Behavior, 37, 621–644. doi: 10.1177/1090198110363884.
Bélanger-Gravel, A., Gauvin, L., Lagarde, F., & Laferté, M. (2015). Correlates and moderators of physical activity in parent-tween dyads: a socio-ecological perspective. Public Health, 129, 1218–1223. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2015.05.019.
Brooks, F., Smeeton, N. C., Chester, K., Spencer, N., & Klemera, E. (2014). Associations between physical activity in adolescence and health behaviours, well-being, family and social relations. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, 52, 271–282. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1463....
Brug, J., te Velde, S. J., Chinapaw, M. J. M., Bere, E., de Bourdeaudhuij, I., Moore, H., ...Singh, A. S. (2010). Evidence-based development of school-based and family-involved prevention of overweight across Europe: The ENERGY-project’s design and conceptual framework. BMC Public Health, 10, 276. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-10-276.
Bucksch, J., Inchley, J., Hamrik, Z., Finne, E., & Kolip, P. (2014). Trends in television time, non-gaming PC use and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity among German adolescents 2002–2010. BMC Public Health, 14, 351. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-351.
Bucksch, J., Inchley, J., Iannotti, R., Roberts, T., & Tynjälä, J. (2014). Physical activity. In C. Currie, J. Inchley, M. Molcho, M. Lenzi, Z. Veselska, & F. Wild (eds.), Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Study Protocol: Background, Methodology and Mandatory items for the 2013/14 Survey (pp. 70–74). St. Andrews: CAHRU.
Central Statistical Office. (2014). Living conditions of families in Poland. Warsaw. Retrieved from www.stat.gov.pl.
Cheng, L. A., Mendonça, G., & Júnior, J. C. (2014). Physical activity in adolescents: analysis of the social influence of parents and friends. Journal de Pediatria, 90, 35–41. doi: 10.1016/j.jped.2013.05.006.
Cleland, V., Timperio, A., Salmon, J., Hume, C., Telford, A., & Crawford, D. (2011). A longitudinal study of the family physical activity environment and physical activity among youth. American Journal of Health Promotion, 25, 159–167. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.090303-QUAN-93.
Davison, K. K., Cutting, T. M., & Birch, L. L. (2003). Parents’ activity related parenting practices predict girls’ physical activity. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35, 1589–1595. doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000084524.19408.0C.
Dishman, R. K., Motl, R. W., Saunders, R., Felton, G., Ward, D. S., Dowda, M., & Pate, R. R. (2004). Self-efficacy partially mediates the effect of a school-based physical-activity intervention among adolescent girls. Preventive Medicine, 38, 628–636. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2003.12.007.
Dunton, G. F., Liao, Y., Almanza, E., Jerrett, M., Spru­ijt-Metz, D., & Pentz M. A. (2013). Locations of joint physical activity in parent-child pairs based on accelerometer and GPS monitoring. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 45 (Suppl 1), 162–172. doi: 10.1007/s12160-012-9417-y.
Dwyer, J. J., Chulak, T., Maitland, S., Allison, K. R., Lysy, D. C., Faulkner, G. E., & Sheeshka, J. (2012). Adolescents’ self-efficacy to overcome barriers to Physical Activity Scale. Research Quarterly for Exercise & Sport, 83, 513–521.
Erkelenz, N., Kobel, S., Kettner, S., Drenowatz, C., & Steinacker, J. M. (2014). Parental activity as influence on children’s BMI percentiles and physical activity. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 13, 645–650.
Ferreira, I., Horst, K., Wendel-Vos, W., Kremers, S., van Lenthe, F. J., & Brug, J. (2006). Environmental determinants of physical activity in youth: a review and update. Obesity Reviews, 8, 129–154.
Frazier, P. A., Tix, A. A., & Barron, K. E. (2004). Testing moderator and mediator effects in counseling psychology research. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 51, 115–134.
Freeman, P., & Rees, T. (2008). The effects of perceived and received support on objective performance outcome. European Journal of Sport Sciences, 8, 359–368. doi: 10.1080/17461390802261439.
Golan, M. (2006). Parents as agents of change in childhood obesity – from research to practice. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 1, 66–76.
Goodwin, R., Cost, P., & Adonu, J. (2004). Social support and its consequences: ‘Positive’ and ‘deficiency’ values and their implications for support and self-esteem. British Journal of Social Psychology, 43, 1–10.
Green, L. W., & Kreuter M. W. (2006). Health program planning: An educational and ecological approach (4th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Gustafson, S. L., & Rhodes, R. E. (2006). Parental correlates of physical activity in children and early adolescents. Sports Medicine, 36, 79–97.
Hamilton, K., Hatzis, D., Kavanagh, D. J., & White, K. M. (2015). Exploring parents’ beliefs about their young child’s physical activity and screen time behaviours. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24, 2638–2652. doi: 10.1007/s10826-014-0066-6.
Hayes, A. F. (2009). Beyond Baron and Kenny: statistical mediation analysis in the new millennium. Communication Monographs, 76, 408–420. doi: 10.1080/03637750903310360.
Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1995). Evaluating model fit. In R. H. Hoyle (ed.), Structural equation modeling. Concepts, issues, and applications (pp. 76–99). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Jose, K. A., Blizzard, L., Dwyer, T., McKercher, C., & Venn, A. J. (2011). Childhood and adolescent predictors of leisure time physical activity during the transition from adolescence to adulthood: a population based cohort study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8, 54–62. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-8-54.
Kavanaugh, K., Moore, J. B., Hibbett, L. J., & Kaczynski, A. T. (2015). Correlates of subjectively and objectively measured physical activity in young adolescents. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 4, 222–227. doi: 10.1016/j.jshs.2014.03.015.
Kohl, H. W., & Murray, T. D. (2012). Foundations of physical activity and public health. Champaign: Human Kinetics.
Lakey, B., & Cohen, S. (2000). Social support measurement and theory. In S. Cohen, L. G. Underwood, & B. H. Gottlieb (eds.), Social support measurement and intervention: A guide for health and social scientists (pp. 29–52). New York: Oxford University Press.
Lee, P. H. (2014). Association between adolescents’ physical activity and sedentary behaviors with change in BMI and risk of type 2 diabetes. PLoS One, 9, e110732. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110732.
Leggett, C., Irwin, M., Griffith, J., Xue, L., & Fradette, K. (2012). Factors associated with physical activity among Canadian high school students. International Journal of Public Health, 57, 315–324. doi: 10.1007/s00038-011-0306-0.
Luszczynska, A., & Schwarzer, R. (2005). Social-cognitive theory. In M. Conner & P. Norman (eds.), Predicting health behavior (2nd ed. rev.) (pp. 127–169). Buckingham: Open University Press.
Mendonça, G., Cheng, L. A., Melo, E. N., & Junior, J. C. (2014). Physical activity and social support in adolescents: a systematic review. Health Education Research, 29, 822–839. doi: 10.1093/her/cyu017.
Pearson, N., Braithwaite, R. E., Biddle, S. J. H., van Sluijs, E. M. F., & Atkin, A. J. (2014). Associations between sedentary behaviour and physical activity in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 15, 666–675. doi: 10.1111/obr.12188.
Pearson, N., Timperio, A., Salmon, J., Crawford, D., & Biddle, S. J. H. (2009). Family influences on children’s physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 6, 34. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-6-34.
Petersen, M. S., Lawman, H. G., Fairchild, A., Wilson, D. K., & Van Horn, M. L. (2013). The association of self-efficacy and parent social support on physical activity in male and female adolescents. Health Psychology, 32, 666–674. doi: 10.1037/a0029129.
Prochaska, J. J., Sallis, J. F., & Long, B. (2001). A physical activity screening measure for use with adolescents in primary care. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 155, 554–559.
Moore, L. L., Lombardi. D. A., White, M. J., Campbell, J. L., Oliveria, S. A., & Ellison, R. C. (1991). Influence of parents’ physical activity levels on activity levels of young children. Journal of Pediatrics, 118, 215–219.
Määttä, S., Ray, C., & Roos, E. (2014). Associations of parental influence and 10-11-year-old children’s physical activity: Are they mediated by children’s perceived competence and attraction to physical activity? Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 42, 45–51. doi: 10.1177/1403494813504506.
Pugliese, J., & Tinsley, B. (2007). Parental socialization of child and adolescent physical activity: a meta-analysis. Journal of Family Psychology, 21, 331–343. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.21.3.331.
Rovniak, L. S., Anderson, E. S., Winett, R. A., & Stephens, R. S. (2002). Social cognitive determinants of physical activity in young adults: A prospective structural equation analysis. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24, 149–156. doi: 10.1207/S15324796ABM2402_12.
Sallis, J. F., Alcaraz, J. E., McKenzie, T. L., Hovell, M. F., Kolody, B., & Nader, P. R. (1992). Parental behavior in relation to physical activity and fitness in 9-year-old children. American Journal of Diseases of Children, 146, 1383–1388.
Sallis, J. F., Prochaska, J. J., & Taylor, W. C. (2000). A review of correlates of physical activity of children and adolescents. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 32, 963–975.
Schwarzer, R. (2008). Modeling health behavior change: How to predict and modify the adoption and maintenance of health behaviors. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 57, 1–29. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2007.00325.x.
Schwarzer, R., & Renner, B. (2015). Health-Specific Self-Efficacy Scales. Retrieved from http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~....
Schwarzer, R., & Renner, B. (2000). Social-cognitive predictors of health behavior: Action self-efficacy and coping self-efficacy. Health Psychology, 19, 487–495. doi: http://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.....
Sweeting, H., & West, P. (1998). Health at age 11: reports from schoolchildren and their parents. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 78, 427–434. doi: 10.1136/adc.78.5.427.
Timperio, A. F., van Stralen, M. M., & Brug, J. (2013). Direct and indirect associations between the family physical activity environment and sports participation among 10-12 year-old European children: testing the EnRG framework in the ENERGY project. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10, 15. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-10-15.
Trost, S. G., Pate, R. R., Ward, D. S., Saunders, R., & Riner, W. (1999). Correlates of objectively measured physical activity in preadolescent youth. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 17, 120–126.
Trost, S. G., Sallis, J. F., Pate, R. R., Freedson, P. S., Taylor, W. C., & Dowda, M. (2003). Evaluating a model of parental influence on youth physical activity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 25, 277–282. doi: 10.1016/S0749-3797(03)00217-4.
Warner, L. M., Schüz, B., Knittle, K., Ziegelmann, J. P., & Wurm, S. (2011). Sources of perceived self-efficacy as predictors of physical activity in older adults. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 3, 172–192. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-0854.2011.01050.x.
Warner, L. M., Schüz, B., Wolff, J. K., Parschau, L., Wurm, S., & Schwarzer, R. (2014). Sources of self-efficacy for physical activity. Health Psychology, 33, 1298–1308. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/hea0....
Welk, G. J., Wood, K., & Morss, G. (2003). Parental influence on physical activity in children: an exploration of potential mechanisms. Pediatric Exercise Science, 15, 19–33.
Wienert, J., Kuhlmann, T., & Lippke, S. (2015). Direct effects of a domain-specific subjective age measure on self-reported physical activity – Is it more important how old you are or how old you feel? Health Psychology Report, 3, 131–139. doi: 10.5114/hpr.2015.51450.
World Heath Organization. (2010). Global recommendations on physical activity for health. Geneva: WHO.
Yao, C. A., & Rhodes, R. E. (2015). Parental correlates in child and adolescent physical activity: a meta-analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12, 10. doi: 10.1186/s12966-015-0163-y.
Zhou, G., Sun, C., Knoll, N., Hamilton, K., & Schwarzer, R. (2015). Self-efficacy, planning and action control in an oral self-care intervention. Health Education Research, 30, 671–681. doi: 10.1093/her/cyv032.
Copyright: © Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk This is an Open Access journal, all articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/), allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top