The relationship between socio-economic status, parental support and adolescent physical activity


Lennart Raudsepp, Institute of Sport Pedagogy and Coaching Science, University of Tartu Tartu Estonia. +372 7 376 289 +372 7 376 289


Aim: To examine: 1) the association between socio-economic status and adolescent physical activity; 2) to assess links between mothers’ and fathers’ social support and adolescents’ physical activity. Methods: Participants were 326 urban adolescents and their parents. Physical activity was measured using a 7-d physical activity recall. Socio-economic status and parents’ social support was assessed using questionnaires. Results: Boys were significantly more active than girls, and fathers’ explicit modelling towards boys was higher compared to girls. In contrast, fathers’ and mothers’ logistic support was significantly higher towards their daughters. Social class and fathers’ and mothers’ social support were significantly related to adolescent self-reported physical activity. Fathers’ explicit modelling was the strongest predictor of adolescent physical activity, predicting 13.5% of the total variance. Social class, fathers’ logistic support and mothers’ explicit modelling were also significant predictors, accounting for additional 14% of the variance in adolescents’ weekly physical activity.

Conclusion: Parental support and social class are positively related to physical activity in Estonian adolescents.