Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Health

Committee Chair

Brook Harmon

Committee Member

Latrice Pichon

Committee Member

Yong Yang

Committee Member

Kristoffer Berlin


Childhood obesity rates continue to rise with adolescents (12-19 years old) having the highest prevalence (20.6%) across all age groups. Previous studies have indicated the importance of physical activity (PA) to assist with reducing obesity rates among adolescents. Parents influence their adolescents PA as they are typically adolescents first exposure and gatekeepers to both direct and indirect PA behaviors through their support and modeling of PA. This dissertation used parent-adolescent dyads from the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) study to examine the associations between parent PA support and PA modeling and adolescent moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) engagement and weight status. The study hypothesized that parent factors (parent PA support and parent PA modeling) and adolescent psychosocial constructs (i.e., PA self-efficacy, perception of parent PA support) would positively influence adolescent PA-related behaviors and health outcomes (more adolescent MVPA engagement and lower adolescent weight status). Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to examine the pathways and associations between these factors. Adolescent MVPA engagement did not mediate the pathway between parent factors and adolescent weight status (parent PA support- Estimate=-0.002, p=0.687; parent PA modeling - Estimate=0.001, p=0.775), although this was hypothesized. Also, adolescent MVPA engagement was not statistically associated with adolescent weight status. The pathways from parent PA support to adolescent MVPA engagement and weight status were not positively influenced by the inclusion of the adolescent psychosocial constructs. Parent PA support was directly associated with adolescent weight status in an unexpected direction (Est.=0.117; p=0.007). As hypothesized, there was an inverse association between parent PA modeling and adolescent weight status (Est.=-0.036; p =0.001) as mediated by adolescent PA self-efficacy and a positive association between parent PA modeling and adolescent MVPA engagement (Est.=0.040; p


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest