Sedentary behaviors among Hispanic children: Influences of parental support in a school intervention program

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American Journal of Health Promotion




SAGE Publications

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PURPOSE: To examine the effect of parental support on sedentary behaviors among Hispanic children. DESIGN AND SETTING: A longitudinal quasi-experimental design with five waves of data collection was used to examine the effect of parental support on children's sedentary behaviors in a school-based intervention program in west Texas. SUBJECTS: Hispanic low-income parents and their children of 5 to 9 years (N = 416 child-parent dyads) over a 22-month period (1217 observations). INTERVENTION: Transformacion Para Salud was a multicomponent intervention program aimed at prevention and control of childhood overweight and obesity. It used a community-based participatory research approach, including nutrition education, physical exercise, gardening, and family involvement. MEASURES: Sedentary behaviors were measured by parents' report of their children's daily screen time per week, including TV/DVD, computer, Internet, and video games. Parental support was measured with parents' reported support for active living. ANALYSIS: Growth curve analysis was used to examine trajectories of sedentary behaviors of children. RESULTS: Response rate was over 70%. Parental support reduced children's sedentary behaviors. Girls were less sedentary than boys, but girls were less affected by parental support. The intervention was effective in reducing children's sedentary behaviors over time. CONCLUSION: It is important for school intervention programs to mobilize parents to provide more support to reduce sedentary behaviors.

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