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Associations among social capital, parenting for active lifestyles, and youth physical activity in rural families living in upstate New York

Author

Listed:
  • Davison, Kirsten K.
  • Nishi, Akihiro
  • Kranz, Sibylle
  • Wyckoff, Lynae
  • May, John J.
  • Earle-Richardson, Giulia B.
  • Strogatz, David S.
  • Jenkins, Paul L.

Abstract

While emerging research supports a positive relationship between social capital and youth physical activity (PA), few studies have examined possible mechanisms explaining this relationship and no studies have focused on rural youth. In this study, we examined parents’ support of children’s PA as an intermediary factor linking social capital and youth PA in a largely rural cross sectional sample of American children aged 6- to 19-years and their parents/guardians (N=767 families) living in upstate New York. Parents completed a self-administered survey assessing demographic factors, perceived social capital, support for children’s PA, and children’s PA including time spent outdoors and days per week of sufficient PA. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesis that higher social capital is linked with higher parental support for PA and, in turn, higher PA in children. Analyses were conducted separately for younger (6–12 years) and older (13–19 years) children and controlled for demographic factors (child age, household education, participation in a food assistance program) and perceived neighborhood safety. Anticipated relationships among social capital, parents’ activity-related support, and children’s PA were identified for older, but not younger children. Findings suggest that parent support for children’s PA is one possible mechanism linking social capital and youth PA and the parents of adolescents may rely more heavily on cues from their social environment to shape their approaches to supporting their children’s PA than parents of younger children.

Suggested Citation

  • Davison, Kirsten K. & Nishi, Akihiro & Kranz, Sibylle & Wyckoff, Lynae & May, John J. & Earle-Richardson, Giulia B. & Strogatz, David S. & Jenkins, Paul L., 2012. "Associations among social capital, parenting for active lifestyles, and youth physical activity in rural families living in upstate New York," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(8), pages 1488-1496.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:8:p:1488-1496
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.06.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:mpr:mprres:4706 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Sirven, Nicolas, 2006. "Endogenous social capital and self-rated health: Cross-sectional data from rural areas of Madagascar," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 1489-1502, September.
    3. Pabayo, Roman & Belsky, Jay & Gauvin, Lise & Curtis, Sarah, 2011. "Do area characteristics predict change in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity from ages 11 to 15 years?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 430-438, February.
    4. Yip, Winnie & Subramanian, S.V. & Mitchell, Andrew D. & Lee, Dominic T.S. & Wang, Jian & Kawachi, Ichiro, 2007. "Does social capital enhance health and well-being? Evidence from rural China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 35-49, January.
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    6. Cradock, Angie L. & Kawachi, Ichiro & Colditz, Graham A. & Gortmaker, Steven L. & Buka, Stephen L., 2009. "Neighborhood social cohesion and youth participation in physical activity in Chicago," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 427-435, February.
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    8. Berkman, Lisa F. & Glass, Thomas & Brissette, Ian & Seeman, Teresa E., 2000. "From social integration to health: Durkheim in the new millennium," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 843-857, September.
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