HALO Director Dr. Mark Tremblay is senior author on a paper, “Understanding Action Control of Parental Support Behavior for Child Physical Activity,” that was recently published in Health Psychology. Citation details and a summary of the paper are below.

Rhodes RE, Spence JC, Berry T, Deshpande S, Faulkner G, Latimer-Cheung AE, O’Reilly N, Tremblay MS. Understanding Action Control of Parental Support Behavior for Child Physical Activity. Health Psychol. 2015 Jul 27. [Epub ahead of print].

ABSTRACT: Objective. Parental support is the critical family-level variable linked to child physical activity (PA), yet the antecedents of support are poorly understood, and its relationship with intention is modest. The purpose of this study was to apply a framework designed to evaluate the intention-behavior gap, known as multiprocess action control (M-PAC), to understand parental support for regular child PA. Method. Mothers (N = 1,253) with children 5-12 years of age completed measures of attitudes, perceived control over support, behavioral regulation tactics (e.g., planning, self-monitoring), and intention to support. Over half (58%) reported on subsequent support behaviors 6 months later. Results. Three intention-behavior profiles emerged: (a) nonintenders (26.4%; n = 331), (b) unsuccessful intenders (36.6%; n = 458), and (c) successful intenders (33%; n = 414). Congruent with M-PAC, a discriminant function analysis showed that affective attitude about support (r = .18), perceived behavioral control over support (r = .55), and behavioral regulation (r = .55) distinguished between all 3 intention-behavior profiles. A disaggregated analysis of specific behavioral regulation tactics showed that most distinguished all 3 profiles, yet planning, information seeking, and monitoring were the critical correlates of the discriminant function. Conclusion. The majority of mothers had positive intentions to support regular child PA, yet over half failed to enact this support. Difficulty of intention translating into support behavior arises from compromised control over support, self-regulation skills, and perceptions that the supportexperience is unenjoyable. Interventions aimed at strengthening these factors are recommended to improve parental support action control.