Which School- and Home-Based Factors in Elementary School–Age Children Predict Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Secondary School–Age Children? A Prospective Cohort Study

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

To examine which school- and home-based factors at age 11 to 12 (6th grade, elementary school) predict physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) at age 13 to 14 (8th grade, secondary school).

Methods:

Data at both time points were collected from 472 children (mean age baseline = 10.97, SD age = 0.41) and their parents. Children and parents completed self-reported questionnaires. Children’s height and weight were measured and children wore a pedometer for 7 days.

Results:

Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that predominantly boys (β = −.11), children with higher levels of pedometer-determined PA (β = .44) and more parental logistic support (β = .11) at age 11 to 12 displayed higher levels of pedometer-determined PA at age 13 to 14 (R2 = 39.1%). Similar results emerged for self-reported moderate-to-vigorous PA (R2 = 36.7%). Finally, lower levels of screen-based SB at age 13 to 14 (R2 = 32.5%) were most strongly related to lower levels of screen-based SB (β = .41), a medium/high socioeconomic status (β = −.18), and higher levels of parental PA explicit modeling (β = −.18) at age 11 to 12.

Conclusions:

Children’s PA/SB and the supportive role of parents at age 11 to 12 are strong predictors of PA and screen-based SB at age 13 to 14.

Rutten (Cindy.Rutten@faber.kuleuven.be), Boen, and Seghers are with the Dept of Kinesiology, KU Leuven, Belgium.

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