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  • Author: Trina Hinkley x
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Katherine L. Downing, Trina Hinkley and Kylie D. Hesketh

Background:

There is little current understanding of the influences on sedentary behavior and screen time in preschool children. This study investigated socioeconomic position (SEP) and parental rules as potential correlates of preschool children’s sedentary behavior and screen time.

Methods:

Data from the Healthy Active Preschool Years (HAPPY) Study were used. Participating parents reported their child’s usual weekly screen time and their rules to regulate their child’s screen time. Children wore accelerometers for 8 days to objectively measure sedentary time.

Results:

Children whose parents limited television viewing spent significantly less time in that behavior and in total screen time; however, overall sedentary behavior was unaffected. An association between parents limiting computer/electronic game use and time spent on the computer was found for girls only. SEP was inversely associated with girls’, but not boys’, total screen time and television viewing.

Conclusions:

As parental rules were generally associated with lower levels of screen time, intervention strategies could potentially encourage parents to set limits on, and switch off, screen devices. Intervention strategies should target preschool children across all SEP areas, as there was no difference by SEP in overall sedentary behavior or screen time for boys.

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Trina Hinkley, Anna Timperio, Jo Salmon and Kylie Hesketh

Background:

Little is known about the associations of preschoolers’ health behaviors with their later psychosocial wellbeing. This study investigates the association of 3- to 5-year-old children’s physical activity and electronic media use with their later social-emotional skills (6-8 years).

Methods:

Data were collected in 2008–2009 and 2011–2012 for the Healthy Active Preschool and Primary Years (HAPPY) Study in metropolitan Melbourne. Participants were a random subsample (n = 108) of the 567 children at follow-up. Physical activity was objectively measured using ActiGraph GT1M accelerometers; electronic media use (television viewing, sedentary electronic games and active electronic games) was parent proxy-reported. Social and emotional skills were child-reported using the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory—Youth Version. Regression analyses controlled for sex, clustering by center of recruitment, and accelerometer wear time (for physical activity analyses).

Results:

Sedentary electronic games were positively associated with intrapersonal and stress management skills and total emotional quotient. Computer/internet use was inversely associated with interpersonal, and positively associated with stress management, skills.

Conclusions:

Findings suggest that physical activity is not associated with children’s psychosocial health while some types of electronic media use are. Future research should investigate the contexts in which preschoolers participate in these behaviors and potential causal mechanisms of associations.

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Maike Tietjens, Dennis Dreiskaemper, Till Utesch, Nadja Schott, Lisa M. Barnett and Trina Hinkley

Children’s self-perception of motor skills and physical fitness is said to be an important mediator between skills and physical fitness on the one hand and physical activity on the other hand. An age-appropriate self-perception scale is needed to understand the development and the differentiation of the physical self-concept of children and its components. Therefore, the objectives of this study were (1) to develop a pictorial scale of physical fitness for pre-school children (3–6 years old), and (2) to describe the face validity and feasibility of the scale. The study sample included 27 kindergarten children. In order to determine the psychometric properties, validity was assessed by administrating the Pictorial Scale for Physical Self-Concept in Kindergarten Children (P-PSC-C) compared with children’s fundamental movement skill competency (Test of Gross Motor Development [TGMD]-3; six locomotor and seven object-control skills), height, weight, and demographics. The face validity was favorable. Expectable negatively skewed response distributions were found in all items. Medium correlations with related constructs and with sport enjoyment were found. The results indicate that the new scale is usable for kindergarten children. Future validation studies are needed so that the new scale can contribute to the research about physical self-concept development in kindergarten children.

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Tamara May, Nicole Rinehart, Lisa Barnett, Trina Hinkley, Jane McGillivray, Helen Skouteris, Delwyne Stephens and Debra Goldfinch

Numerous barriers exist for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to engage in sporting activities, including behavioral problems and motor deficits. This study explored parent experiences of and influences on child participation in an 11-week Australian Football League (AFL) Auskick football program adapted for children with ASD as well as changes in their motor skills. The program was run in 2014 (Phase 1) and 2015 (Phase 2). In Phase 1 thematic analyses of nine parent interviews and pre-post parent proxy report of children’s motor skills were conducted with 15 parents. In Phase 2 pre-post objective motor skill assessment was undertaken in a separate sample of 13 children. Three key themes were identified: benefit of doing something ‘normal’; simple adaptations work; and, despite barriers, the benefits are worthwhile. Parent-proxy report indicated improvement in child object control skills. Objective assessment showed no change in children’s motor skill. Parental experiences of the program indicated that simple accommodations can engage children with ASD and their families in organized sporting programs. Given potential psychosocial and health benefits of organized sports, further controlled studies of this type of program in children with ASD are warranted.

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Ellen De Decker, Kylie Hesketh, Marieke De Craemer, Trina Hinkley, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Jo Salmon and Greet Cardon

Background:

Television viewing is highly prevalent in preschoolers (3–5 years). Because of the adverse health outcomes related to this behavior, it is important to investigate associations and mediators of young children’s television viewing time. This study investigated whether parental rules regarding television viewing time and parental concerns about screen viewing activities mediated the association between parents’ and preschoolers’ television viewing time.

Methods:

Mediation analyses were performed with the product-of-coefficient test on data derived from the Australian HAPPY study (n = 947) and the Belgian sample of the ToyBox-study (n = 1527). Parents reported their own and their child’s television viewing time, their rules regarding television viewing and concerns about their child’s screen viewing activities.

Results:

Parents’ television viewing time was directly associated with preschoolers’ television viewing time and parental rule for television viewing time mediated this association in both samples (14.4% and 8.1% in the Australian and Belgian samples, respectively).

Conclusions:

This study is unique in examining the mediating pathway of parental television viewing and a rule limiting TV viewing time and whether this is consistent in different samples. Due to the consistent importance, both parents’ television viewing time and rules should be targeted in interventions to decrease preschoolers’ television viewing time.

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Katherine L. Downing, Jo Salmon, Anna Timperio, Trina Hinkley, Dylan P. Cliff, Anthony D. Okely and Kylie D. Hesketh

Background: Although there is increasing evidence regarding children’s screen time, little is known about children’s sitting. This study aimed to determine the correlates of screen time and sitting in 6- to 8-year-old children. Methods: In 2011–2012, parents in the Healthy Active Preschool and Primary Years (HAPPY) study (n = 498) reported their child’s week/weekend day recreational screen time and potential correlates. ActivPALs measured children’s nonschool sitting. In model 1, linear regression analyses were performed, stratified by sex and week/weekend day and controlling for age, clustered recruitment, and activPAL wear time (for sitting analyses). Correlates significantly associated with screen time or sitting (P < .05) were included in model 2. Results: Children (age 7.6 y) spent 99.6 and 119.3 minutes per day on week and weekend days engaging in screen time and sat for 119.3 and 374.6 minutes per day on week and weekend days, respectively. There were no common correlates for the 2 behaviors. Correlates largely differed by sex and week/weekend day. Modifiable correlates of screen time included television in the child’s bedroom and parental logistic support for, encouragement of, and coparticipation in screen time. Modifiable correlates of sitting included encouragement of and coparticipation in physical activity and provision of toys/equipment for physical activity. Conclusions: Interventions may benefit from including a range of strategies to ensure that all identified correlates are targeted.