Mothers’ Self-Efficacy Regarding Dietary Behaviour and Physical Activity of Preschool Children

Authors

1 1Physical Education Teacher, MSc., School of Physical Education and Sport Science, Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece.

2 Assistant Professor, School of Physical Education and Sport Science, Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece.

3 Associate Professor, School of Physical Education and Sport Science, Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece.

4 Professor, School of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece.

Abstract

Background
Obesity constitutes a crucial health issue during preschool period and has an impact on children regardless their ethnic backgrounds. The purpose of the study was to examine the self-efficacy perceptions of mothers and potential differences and correlations with dietary behaviour and physical activity of their preschool children in Finland.
Materials and Methods: The sample for this study consisted of 154 mothers from nine private nurseries who lived in greater Helsinki and have Finnish or other nationality. There were 7 categories of geographical regions from which mothers came from, according to the nationality they declared. For the data collection the "Parental Self-Efficacy Questionnaire" was used, which evaluates the self-efficacy of parents regarding the dietary behaviour and physical activity of their children.  
Results: The age range of the children was between 3 up to 6 years of age (Mean=5.08 + 0.96), while the age range of mothers was between 25 up to 54 years of age (Mean=37.7+ 4.85). Positive correlations were found between maternal self-efficacy and children’s physical activity as well as between maternal self-efficacy and dietary behaviour. As it occurs from the analysis of the results from Pearson correlations: dietary behaviour had a positive correlation with physical activity r=0.583, p
Conclusion: Despite the non-statistically significant differences on these two factors, the results also showed high mean score values on maternal self-efficacy so in physical activity, as in dietary behaviour. Mothers who living in the same country which offers well structured guidelines about integrating nutrition and physical activity to help prevent lifestyle related diseases, possibly explains the fact that there are no differences related to ethnicity.

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