Physical Activity Coparticipation Among Parent–Young-Child Dyads

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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  • 1 University of Kentucky
  • 2 East Carolina University
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Purpose: This study examined patterns of physical activity coparticipation among parent–child (2–5 y) dyads. Method: The dyads (N = 47; 51% mother–child) each wore a Bluetooth-enabled accelerometer for 8 days to measure physical activity and physical activity coparticipation. The parents completed demographic and self-reported family physical activity questionnaires. Results: The parent–child dyads spent 145 (79) minutes per day in-proximity according to the Bluetooth-enabled accelerometers. The majority (90%) of parent–child in-proximity time was spent with the parent and child engaged in some combination of sedentary or light activities. Child light, moderate, and vigorous physical activity was not associated with parent light (P = .12) or moderate to vigorous physical activity (P = .45), but was positively associated with parent–child in-proximity active minutes (light, moderate, and vigorous) (P < .01). Children in the highest tertile of parent–child physical activity coparticipation engaged in more daily moderate to vigorous physical activity compared with children in the lowest tertile (72.7 vs 50.3 min). There was a positive, statistically significant association between self-reported and objective measures of physical activity coparticipation (r = .47, P = .001). Conclusion: Children who engaged in the most physical activity with their parent had the highest moderate to vigorous physical activity. Future studies should continue to provide contextual information about how parents and children spend their time together to improve family-based physical activity interventions.

Dlugonski is with the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA. DuBose, Habeeb, and Rider are with East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA.

Dlugonski (dee.dlugonski@uky.edu) is corresponding author.
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