Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

The Role that Parents Play in the Development of Physical Activity Behaviors and Motor Skill Development in Young Children with Developmental Disabilities Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/1r66j643s

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  • Young children with developmental disabilities (< 12 years old) participate less in physical activity (PA) and experience motor skill deficits compared to young children without disabilities (Jung, Leung, Schram, & Yun, 2018; Liu, Hamilton, Davis, & ElGarhy, 2014; Whyatt & Craig, 2012). When taking account of a bi-directional relationship between PA behaviors and motor skills (Stodden et al., 2008), the development of motor skills and PA behaviors may be more complex in young children with developmental disabilities (DDs), based on a variety of factors. Even though it has been widely known that parents play an important role in developing physical activity behaviors and motor skills in typically developing (TD) young children, less is known about how parents of young children with DDs influence their children’s PA behaviors and motor skills. In order to promote physical activity behaviors and motor skills of young children with DDs within the context of family, it is important to understand the pathway between parental behaviors (e.g., parental support, explicit modeling, and PA orientations) and PA behaviors and motor skills in young children with DDs. The current study examined (a) the influence of parental PA orientations and support on PA behaviors in young children with DDs and (b) the influence of parental support and explicit modeling on motor skills in young children with DDs. The first manuscript utilized and modified Loprinzi’s conceptual model (Loprinzi and Trost, 2010) as a framework to examine the pathway between parental PA orientations and supports, and PA behaviors in young children with DDs. Participants consisted of one hundred and thirty-two parents of young children (5 years to 7 years and 11 months) with DDs who completed internet-based surveys anonymously. The path analysis indicated that parental enjoyment and parental PA behaviors influenced parental tangible support, which in turn, influenced PA behaviors in young children with DDs. In addition, parental importance of PA and parental PA behaviors influenced parental intangible support, which in turn, influenced PA behaviors in young children with DDs. The second manuscript examined the pathway how parental support and explicit modeling influenced motor skills in young children with DDs. Participants consisted of one hundred and thirty-two parents of young children (5 years to 7 years and 11 months) with DDs who completed internet-based surveys anonymously. The pathway analysis indicated that parents of young children with DDs indirectly influenced their children’s motor skills by supporting their children’s PA and acting as a PA role model. Based on an existing literature, focused on the PA behaviors of young children without disabilities and the findings of the present study, parents play a significant role in promoting PA behaviors and motor skills in young children, including children with DDs. Thus, supporting PA behaviors is critical for optimal development. For example, bringing children to the park and/or playground, doing PA together and encouraging their children’s PA participation would be helpful to allow young children with DDs to participate in PA. Future studies should examine underlying mechanisms, examining what child-related factors such as PA and barrier self-efficacy are influenced by parental support in young children with DDs to more clearly capture the relationship of parents in supporting their children’s physical activity and motor skill development.
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