Childhood predictors of adolescent behaviour: The prospective association of familial factors with meeting physical activity guidelines

Helen Elizabeth Brown, Kirsten Corder, Andrew J. Atkin, Esther M.F. van Sluijs

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Little is known about the longitudinal association of familial socio-demographic factors, behaviours, attitudes, or home environment with meeting physical activity guidelines. Our objective was to a) describe 4-year change in the prevalence of meeting guidelines, and characteristics of participants across categories of physical activity maintenance, and b) identify familial factors in childhood that are longitudinally associated with meeting guidelines in adolescence.

Data on 17 parent- and child-reported family variables and objectively measured physical activity (ActiGraph GT1M) were available from 406 children (10.3 ± 0.3 years, 53.5% female) participating in the SPEEDY study. Average duration of week- and weekend day moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA, ≥ 2000 cpm) at baseline and follow-up (14.3 ± 0.3 years) were calculated to determine whether participants met 60 min MVPA/day guidelines at each assessment. Descriptives were calculated across four MVPA change categories. Multi-level logistic regression examined the association of baseline familial factors with meeting guidelines at follow-up, adjusting for sex, baseline physical activity, family socio-economic position and school clustering.

At follow-up, 51.5% and 36.1% of adolescents met guidelines on weekdays and weekend days, respectively (baseline: 68.0%, 67.2%). Girls were less likely than boys to remain sufficiently active, particularly on weekdays. Family social support was positively associated with adolescents meeting guidelines at weekends (OR 1.2; 95% CI 1.0–1.4). The presence of play equipment at home was negatively associated with meeting guidelines on weekdays (OR 0.5; 95% CI 0.3–0.8).

Interventions that foster parent's facilitation of physical activity may help to encourage the upkeep of healthy behaviours during the transition from childhood to adolescence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221–227
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Early online date23 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Physical activity
  • Family
  • Home environment
  • Longitudinal
  • Predictors
  • Maintenance

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