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Abstract

“Go Outside and Play!” Qualitative Investigation of the Cognitions, Barriers, and Supports for Recommended Active Play and Screentime Behaviors of Parents and School-Age Children

Objective: To qualitatively explore the cognitions of parents and school age children (ages 6 to 11 years old) related to physical activity and screentime. Methods: A total of 44, 6-11 year old children and 37 parents from 3 states (FL, NJ, and WV) participated in focus group discussions. Their responses were content analyzed to identify trends and themes. Results: Content analysis indicated that parents understood the importance of physical activity, but reported time scarcity and limited space for activity was key barriers. Children identified the same main barriers in addition to not having playmates and being distracted by technology. Kids relied on parents to remind them to be active and were more likely to be active when parents played with them. Despite identifying parent: Child co-play as an opportunity to model healthy behaviors and bond with children, parents played actively with children 2.96 ± 1.87 SD days/week; largely due to other commitments. Parents believed screentime should be limited, but also saw it as a relaxation method and way to entertain children. Kids believed it was important to limit screentime. A common strategy parents used to limit screentime was setting daily screentime limits. Most kids reported that; being reliant on parents for enforcing screentime limits. Conclusion: Interventions to improve physical activity and screentime behaviors in families with school-aged children are needed. Future interventions should incorporate the recommendations arising of this study and assess their effectiveness in improving physical activity and screentime behaviors.
Author(s): Kaitlyn M. Eck, Colleen L. Delaney, Aleksandr Dinesen, Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Kim Spaccarotella, Miriam P. Leary, Melissa D. Olfert, Rebecca L. Hagedorn and Karla P. Shelnutt

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  • Google Scholar
  • Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research