Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Parental modelling mediates parental education differences in children's TV time

Children from lower educated parents tend to have less positive health behaviours than kids from higher educated parents. Children's sport participation is a health behaviour, associated with positive health outcomes, while children's TV time -a sedentary behaviour- is associated with higher likelihood for overweight and obesity and lower cardiometabolic health. In a paper just published online in Preventive Medicine, we assessed whether differences in children's sport participation and TV time according to parental education were mediated by parental modelling, i.e. by 'example behaviour' of the parents. In other words: we wanted to explore if lower educated parents are less likely to participate in sports and watch more TV themselves and if these behaviours help explain the less positive health behaviours in their children. We used the data of the cross European ENERGY study. We found evidence that parental modelling was important for differences in children's health behaviours according to the level of education of their parents, especially regarding children's TV time.