physical activity, exercise, sedentary, child, adolescence, parent, mother, father, support, influence


The purpose of this systematic review is to appraise and synthesize the evidence regarding parental influences on sedentary behavior (SB) in children and explore associations promoting parent-based interventions. Prominent research in the last decade has established SB as a health risk, but to our knowledge, no systematic reviews observing parent to child SB associations have been conducted. Inclusion criteria required publication in the English language, utilization of objective measures for SB evaluation, and samples that included the 11 to 17 year age range, thus yielding a total of 15 identified studies. PRISMA guidelines were used to lead the search methodology and evaluation of articles. Twelve of 15 studies established significant, quantifiable parental correlates to children's SB, and all published articles reported significance to one or more aspects of parent influence: role modeling, parental support, media time, home environment, access to play, and attributes of parents and children. Success for reducing SB in children is likely most successful when parents and children seek to engage in physical activity (PA) during their time together. Healthcare providers should proactively create awareness of prolonged SB health risks, educate parents of their influential roles that contribute to children's activity levels and assist with finding strategies to break up sedentary lifestyle habits for parents and their children.

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Class Project or Paper

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University Standing at Time of Publication

Graduate Student