Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Supervisor

Dr. Patricia Tucker

Abstract

Physical activity (PA) patterns continue from childhood into adulthood; therefore, establishing healthy PA levels early is imperative. Mothers have been identified as influencing preschoolers’ activity behaviours; however, a holistic exploration of maternal influence is lacking. The purpose of this study was to explore maternal influence on preschoolers’ PA and sedentary time. Preschoolers (n = 30) and their mothers wore ActicalTM accelerometers, and mothers completed the adapted Environmental Determinants of Physical Activity in Preschool Children - Parent Survey. Direct entry regression analyses were conducted to explore maternal influence (e.g., support, enjoyment) on preschoolers’ activity levels. Maternal support was a significant predictor of preschoolers’ PA and sedentary time (p < .05), while mothers’ enjoyment of PA was related to preschoolers’ sedentary time, light PA, and total PA (p < .05). Further research using a large diverse sample is warranted to clarify and understand the ways in which mothers impact their preschoolers’ PA behaviours.