Environmental and cultural correlates of physical activity parenting practices among Latino parents with preschool-aged children: Niños Activos

Teresia M. O'Connor, Ester Cerin, Rebecca Lee, Nathan Parker, Tzu An Chen, Sheryl O. Hughes, Jason A. Mendoza, Tom Baranowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Background: Latino children are at high risk of becoming obese. Physical activity (PA) can help prevent obesity. Parents can influence children's PA through parenting practices. This study aimed to examine the independent contributions of (1) sociodemographic, (2) cultural, (3) parent perceived environmental, and (4) objectively measured environmental factors, to PA parenting practices. Methods. A cross-sectional sample of Latino parents (n = 240) from Harris County, TX in 2011-2012 completed validated questionnaires to assess PA parenting practices, acculturation, familism, perception of their neighborhood environment, and demographics. Home addresses were mapped and linked to Census block-level crime and traffic data. Distance to the closest park was mapped by GIS. Regression models were built in a hierarchical step-wise fashion. Results: Combined models showed R2 of 6.8% to 38.9% for different parenting practices. Significant correlations included sociodemographic variables with having outdoor toys available, psychological control, and promotion of inactivity. Cultural factors correlated with PA safety concern practices. Perceived environmental attributes correlated with five of seven parenting practices, while objectively-measured environmental attributes did not significantly correlate with PA parenting practices. Conclusion: Interventions promoting PA among Latino preschoolers may need to address the social-ecological context in which families live to effectively promote PA parenting, especially parents' perceptions of neighborhoods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number707
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 10 2014



  • Acculturation
  • Child
  • Correlates
  • Environment
  • Latio
  • Neighborhood
  • Parenting
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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