Predicting personal physical activity of parents during participation in a family intervention targeting their children

  • Ryan E. RhodesEmail author
  • Alison Quinlan
  • Patti-Jean Naylor
  • Darren E. R. Warburton
  • Chris M. Blanchard


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of two family interventions targeting inactive children on their parents’ MVPA. Correlates of MVPA across the trial in the form of theory of planned behavior (TPB) and multi-process action control (M-PAC) were examined as exploratory outcomes. Parents (of children aged 6–12 years) were randomized to either a planning + education (n = 52) or an education only condition (n = 50) designed to improve child MVPA. Parental MVPA (accelerometry, self-report) was assessed at baseline, 6-week, 13-week, and 26-week time-periods. Parental MVPA increased from baseline to 26 weeks (p < .05), but there were no group differences. The TPB was unable to predict MVPA and application of M-PAC showed this was because nearly all participants possessed the intention to be active. Successful-compared to unsuccessful-intenders had stronger habit in four of the six tests employed (p < .05). Parent MVPA may benefit during a family-based intervention but the putative mediators of this increase are unclear.

Registered trial #NCT01882192


Exercise Theory of planned behavior Habit Action control Randomized trial 



We thank Christina McLean and Maeve Hodge for their efforts with data collection and data entry of the study.


The trial was funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Ryan E. Rhodes, Alison Quinlan, Patti-Jean Naylor, Darren E. R. Warburton, Chris M. Blanchard declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The study was approved by the University of Victoria Human Research Ethics Board and informed consent was provided from all participants.

Human and animal rights and Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

Supplementary material

10865_2019_116_MOESM1_ESM.doc (34 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 33 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioural Medicine Laboratory, School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health EducationUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.Indigenous Studies in KinesiologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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