Parent and child reports of children's activity
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This article compares child reports of their physical and sedentary activities with those of their parents.
Data and Methods
Data were obtained from the 2003 Children's Lifestyle and School-performance Study (CLASS), a survey of Grade 5 students and their parents in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Survey data with responses from Grade 5 students and their parents about the students' physical and sedentary activities were used. Agreement between the parent and child reports was evaluated with weighted kappa. Multilevel logistic regression was used to compare the parent and child reports in relation to the child body weight.
Agreement between the 3,958 pairs of parent and child reports was low to fair. Relative to normal weight children, those who were overweight or obese reported more participation in organized and leisure sports and less time watching television than what their parents perceived. Unlike child self-reports, parent reports demonstrated statistically significant associations between the child's activities and body weight.
Based on these findings, parent reports seem to provide a more accurate assessment of activity levels of children younger than 12.
data collection, sports, television, body weight, obesity, screen time
Despite some contradictory results, the relationship between physical activity and obesity has been established. With the aim of providing direction for public health policies to prevent obesity, an increasing number of population-based studies now focus on determinants of activity, especially among children. Accurate assessment of physical and sedentary activity is essential to this research. [Full text]
Fortune Sithole and Paul J. Veugelers (1-780-492-9095; firstname.lastname@example.org) are with the School of Public Health, University of Alberta, 13-106D Clinical Sciences Building, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G3.
We thank the Grade 5 students, their parents and the schools for their participation in the CLASS project. We are grateful to the research assistants and public health staff who participated in data collection. The research was funded by a Canadian Population Health Initiative operating grant and through a Canada Research Chair in Population Health awarded to Dr. Paul Veugelers. We thank Statistics Canada for allowing us to use questions from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth.
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