Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Greek Parents' Opinions and Attitude, regarding the Physical Exercise of Their Children

Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Greek Parents' Opinions and Attitude, regarding the Physical Exercise of Their Children

Article excerpt

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to record, study and analyze the views of parents in Greece, regarding the exercise of their children, the dependence of the parents' opinion with their own participation in sports, the influence of demographic characteristics of parents in relation to their children's training, the factors which encourage and discourage them from participating in athletics and finally the general attitude of parents towards their children's training. In this research there are being involved 230 parents, 32.62% of which were men and 67.38% of which were women, from 35 to 45 years old. According to the survey results, the attitude of parents is quite favorable on to encourage their children to sports and the main reasons for this are the health and the fitness of the body, the teamwork and the pleasure - entertainment. In contrast, the most important reasons that make parents discourage them are the lesions and injuries from sports' activities, loss of leisure time and the poor performance at school. In addition, the results showed that the only element that determines, to some extent, the level of the children's physical activity is the mother's profession, while the degree of children's training depends largely on whether parents exercised in the past, and not if they play sports now. Finally, there is a significant correlation between the child's previous exercise and its present activity. It's also being remarked that the more favorable the attitude of the parents towards the sports is, the more the level of the children's taking part in sports increases.

Keywords: parents' opinions, physical exercise, children participation in sports

1. Introduction

Children's participation in sports activities offers the opportunity to improve their fitness and gain healthy habits that would ideally accompany them later in adulthood. Kids sport, not only is related to the development of physical ability and health but also offers, according to Gallahue (1996), important psychomotor benefits related to psychosocial development, the improvement of self-esteem and confidence, but also to the cognitive and emotional development.

Many researchers have begun efforts to identify the factors which molded the beliefs and attitudes of children towards sport and physical activities and thus affect their participation in them. Parental attitude is a basic influential factor in children's involvement in physical exercises (Australian Sports Commission, 2003; Freedson & Evenson, 1991; Simonen et al., 2002; Perusse et al., 1989; Godin et al., 1989; Moore & Lombardi, 1991; Godin & Shephard, 1986). According to Sallis (et al., 2000), the factors that influence children's participation or non-participation in athletic activities have been clustered in five categories. The first category includes demographic and biological factors associated, according to Loucaides (et al., 2004), with age, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, body mass index of the child's body and also parents' obesity. The second category comprises behavioral factors, which include healthy eating, the desire for physical activity and sedentary habits. The third category includes psychological factors, where as Sallis et al. (2000) and Loucaides et al. (2004) stated are related to self-esteem, self-perception of athletic ability or self-efficacy, and self-concept for body image. In the same category belongs the expectation of the result, the views in extracurricular activities, preferences in specific physical activities, but also the way of addressing barriers to their participation in them. The fourth category includes environmental factors related to climate, the existence of sports equipment in the home and the characteristics of the neighborhood, such as creating appropriately structured spaces for physical activity. Finally, the fifth and final category includes social factors, ie the various social sources of influence, such as peers, teachers / coaches, and of course the family (Brustad et al. …

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