Children’s Physical Activity and Parental Characteristics in the 2005-2006 NHANES

Rachelle Hill, U.S. Census Bureau
Toben Nelson, University of Minnesota

Physical activity promotion is a public health priority, particularly for children who may experience the long-term impacts of early sedentary lifestyles. The role of family structure and the interrelationship of children's and their parents’ behaviors led us to investigate the relationship between children’s physical activity and family characteristics. We used the 2003 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) (n = 3,388), a nationally representative sample of children aged 6-19 to explore this relationship. Drawing on objectively measured physical activity using accelerometers, we find evidence that children of parents who have never married spend more time in physical activity. Examining this relationship further, we find evidence that for children whose parents’ have never married lower income and parents’ younger ages are related to higher levels of physical activity.

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Presented in Session 222: Parental Characteristics on Child Health and Behavioral Outcomes