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"What happens at Grandma's stays at Grandma's": Explaining differences between parental and grandparental perspectives on preschoolers' physical activity
Division of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9707-8768
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the 25th European Childhood Obesity Congress 2015 / [ed] Paulina Nowicka, 2015, 26-26 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Aim: While extensive evidence shows that family involvement is critically important in the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity, grandparental perspectives on physical activity of young children remain understudied. This is notable since nearly one quarter of US and UK families rely on grandparents as the main providers of informal childcare. Informal care has been linked to increased risk of overweight in preschoolers. The aim of this study was to assess differences between parental and grandparental perspectives on physical activity, and how such differences are negotiated in families.

Methods: We interviewed 22 parents and 27 grandparents (70% women, 60% overweight/obese) from 16 families of children aged 3-5 years (50% girls, 56% overweight/obese) in the Pacific Northwest, US. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed qualitatively.

Results: The analysis yielded three thematic categories: (1) differences in preschoolers’ physical activity are influenced by parents’ and grandparents’ own access to and engagement in physical activity; (2) parents and grandparents frame screen-time as an acceptable part of their preschoolers’ activities and rarely disagree about screen-time rules; (3) parents and grandparents perceive preschoolers as inclined toward physically active play and think of exercise as a non-issue for young children.

Conclusions: The findings highlight that young children’s physical activity is rarely subject to familial discussion, suggesting that, parents’ and grandparents’ concepts of appropriate physical activity are less clearly defined. The findings also suggest that parental and grandparental decision-making about physical activity is informed by ideas of what constitutes a balanced lifestyle for a preschool aged child.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. 26-26 p.
Keyword [en]
grandparents, physical activity, preschoolers, screen-time
National Category
Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-312197OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-312197DiVA: diva2:1062638
25th European Chilhood Obesity Congress (The European Childhood Obesity Group (ECOG)) 12-14 October 2015, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
VINNOVA, 2011-03443
Available from: 2017-01-07 Created: 2017-01-07 Last updated: 2017-01-18Bibliographically approved

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