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Striking a balance: physical activity, screen-viewing and homework during the transition to secondary school

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number3174
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number17
DateAccepted/In press - 25 Aug 2019
DatePublished (current) - 30 Aug 2019


Physical activity levels decline and screen-viewing behaviours increase during childhood and adolescence. The transition to secondary school appears to coincide with a sharp decline in physical activity. Parents have the potential to influence their child’s behaviours, yet little is known about their expectations for their child’s physical activity and screen-viewing during this transition. This paper explores parents’ expectations for their children’s physical activity and screen-viewing as they transition from primary to secondary school, and their proposed strategies for managing these behaviours during this time. Forty-two parents of children aged 10-11 years participated in a semi-structured telephone interviews in July 2017 or March 2018. The interview data were analysed via inductive and deductive content analysis to explore parents’ perceptions of physical activity and screen-viewing during transition, the reasons for their perceptions, and the strategies they intended to implement to help their child balance their behaviours. Most parents expected both physical activity and screen-viewing to increase during this transition. There were several individual, social and school-level factors influencing these expectations. Overall, parents felt that helping their child balance their activity levels, screen-viewing and homework would be challenging.

    Research areas

  • Children, Physical activity, School transition, Screen-viewing

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    Licence: CC BY


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