“You’ve got to settle down!” Mothers’ perceptions of physical activity in their young children_2015.pdf

<div>Abstract</div><div>Background: Mothers are important mediators of children’s physical activity (PA) level and risk of obesity, however</div><div>previous studies of maternal perceptions of child PA have been limited. Furthermore, it is unknown if maternal</div><div>perceptions of child PA are predicted by family, mother and child characteristics. Therefore objectives of this study</div><div>were to 1) evaluate maternal perceptions of PA in their children and 2) test associations of family, mother and child</div><div>characteristics with these perceptions.</div><div>Methods: 278 low-income mothers of children (mean age 70.9 months) participated in an audio-taped</div><div>semi-structured interview. Transcripts were systematically analyzed using the constant comparative method and</div><div>themes were generated. A coding scheme to classify the themes appearing in each transcript was developed and</div><div>reliably applied. Anthropometrics were measured. Demographics and questionnaires (the Confusion, Hubbub and</div><div>Order Scale, The Parenting Scale, and the Child Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ)) were collected. Logistic regression</div><div>models were used to test the associations of family, mother and child characteristics with each theme.</div><div>Results: In this sample of low-income United States mothers, two themes emerged: 1) Mothers perceive their</div><div>children as already very active (87.8 %, n = 244), predicted by the child being younger, the child not being</div><div>overweight, and higher child CBQ Activity Level; and 2) Mothers view their children’s high activity level as</div><div>problematic (27.0 %, n = 75), predicted by lower Parenting Laxness, the child being male and lower child CBQ</div><div>Inhibitory Control.</div><div>Conclusions: Low-income United States mothers have unique perceptions of PA in their children; these beliefs are</div><div>associated with characteristics of the child and mother but not characteristics of the family. Further understanding</div><div>of contributors to maternal perceptions of child PA may inform future childhood obesity interventions. The</div><div>influence of these perceptions on physical activity outcomes in low-income children should be pursued in future</div><div>research.</div>