Parental Perceptions of Risk and Children’s Physical Activity
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Despite the well-established mental and physical benefits of regular physical activity during childhood, many children in developed nations do not meet the recommended levels. Compared with several decades ago, children spend less of their leisure time outdoors in unstructured play and more time indoors often engaged in sedentary behaviors such as television viewing or playing with electronic entertainment media. They tend to spend less time walking and cycling from place to place and have less independent mobility (i.e., freedom to move around their neighborhoods without adult accompaniment). This chapter explores levels of active transport and independent mobility among Australian school-aged children. The concept of parental chauffeuring where children are driven to school and/or local destinations is explored as well as predictors of this behavior. Associations are examined among the following variables: parents’ perceptions of safety, of victimization, and of risk and constrained behavior. Recommendations are made for interventions or programs that aim to increase active transport and independent mobility by increasing perceptions of safety and lowering perceptions of risk.
KeywordsChild Adolescent Active transport Independent mobility Risk Neighborhood Crime Safety
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