Parental Activity Levels verses their Children's Activity Levels. Aaron Limmer. Purpose of the Study?. The purpose of this research was to find a link between parental attitudes on physical activity levels and the attitudes and physical activity levels of their children.
Parental Activity Levels verses their Children's Activity Levels
The purpose of this research was to find a link between parental attitudes on physical activity levels and the attitudes and physical activity levels of their children.
The purpose of this presentation is to explain so that you may understand with words, data, and graphs on the main aspects of this research project, and to explore some of the more intriguing discoveries that this data might imply.
110 Participants total.
The majority of my data was given from 19-22 year old students. (Mode: 20)
91.8% of my data was given from students with the ethnicity of white, 1.8% African American, 1.8% Asian, 4.5% Other.
88.2% of participants had parents who were married between the ages of 10-14.
9.1% of participants had divorced parents between the ages of 10-14.
2.7% had both married and divorced between the ages of 10-14.
3.6% had a single parent between the ages of 10-14.
Next, I asked if their parents were active in high school or college.
I wished to know if their parents held a previous history of physical activity.
The greater majority of fathers were physically active in their high school and college careers.
A slight majority of mothers were physically active in high school or college
The majority of parents had a physically active past.
Next, I wanted to analyze the current physical activity of the same group of parents.
I wished to see if having a physically active past meant having physically active future for the parents.
The majority of fathers currently are not physically active.
A very slight majority of mothers are currently active.
Why is that interesting? Well if you look back on the data, fathers had a large majority of being active in high school and college, while mothers only had a slight majority.
The data suggests that the physical activity levels of fathers gradually decay over time, while the mothers activity levels remain more plateaued throughout their life.
Next, I analyzed the current physical status of the parents and the child.
**From the child’s perspective**
The majority of children did not think that either of their parents were overweight, although slightly more likely to think that their mother was overweight.
The vast majority of children do not think that they are overweight.
What does this mean?
It means that even though mothers activity levels are currently higher then the fathers, they are more likely to be considered by their children to be overweight.
You would think that more children would consider their fathers to be overweight since they are currently less active then their mothers.
However that is not the case.
The data does not seem to indicate that having overweight parents increases or decreases the chance of having an overweight child in college.
*In the child’s perspective at least*
** Remember, sometimes self perception is different than actuality (ex. Anorexia)**
The huge majority of parents encouraged sports for their children growing up, which means the majority most likely did participate at increased physical activity levels.
Even though the majority participated at increased activity levels in their youth, only a slight majority increased their activity into college. ( 79.8%>6.4%)
This implies that children's physical activity levels acutely decay from adolescence (4th grade-8th grade) to college. Much like fathers activities levels decay over time as well.
But, decay of activity level does not imply that they become overweight (the child), because metabolism is still high in young adults as it isn't in older fathers and mothers.
However, the data does suggest (albeit lightly) that children do model their physical activity after their fathers.
The data suggests that if given enough time, children's activity levels gradually decrease into young adulthood, and probably into full status adult hood (25+).
Also, it seems that having a previous history of physical activity does seem to encourage future physical activity at least into young adulthood, but not for aging fathers, who seem to have high early activity levels, but fall into steep decrease as they age.
Mothers maintain the most consistency, with physical activity levels averaging slightly above in majority.
However, the children still perceive their mothers to more likely be overweight.
The most interesting finding from my research suggests that children are more likely to think that their mothers are overweight, even though they perceive their fathers to be less active.
How does this influence the child?
This data is suggestive mostly for the White ethnic population, with parents who were married growing up, ages 19-22.
Other ethnic populations, divorced parents, older/younger test groups might suggest this same data different conclusions.