Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Kinesiology and Sport Studies

Major Professor

Dawn P. Coe

Committee Members

David R. Bassett Jr., Dixie L. Thompson, Hillary N. Fouts


Physical activity levels of adults and children are low, and the amount of time children spend being active outdoors is decreasing. Parents play a critical role in developing health behaviors of children and ways to increase physical activity and encourage an active family culture are needed. Promotion of family outdoor physical activity, which includes at least one parent and one child from a home engaging in physical activity together, is understudied. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation was to 1) describe the type, frequency, and duration of family physical activity, 2) determine whether changes in the duration and number of family outdoor physical activity bouts (min; number of bouts/week‑1), and 3) determine whether changes in parent and child physical activity perceptions (value, self-efficacy, enjoyment) and parent behaviors (support) occur as a result of a four-week family outdoor physical activity program. The four-week program, Active Families in the Great Outdoors, was designed to educate parents on the benefits of family outdoor physical activity and provide tools necessary to incorporate activity into daily home life. Participants completed family activity logs each week to document their time spent being active together. Parents completed pre/post assessments of knowledge, value, self-efficacy, and support. Children completed pre/post assessments of enjoyment, support, and self-efficacy. During the program, families increased their time spent being active together by an average of 111 minutes/week-1 (baseline, 216.1 ± 127.3 minutes/week-1; week1, 316.1 ± 180.2 minutes/week-1; week2, 351.1 ± 209.1 minutes/week-1, week4, 317.5 ± 186.8 minutes/week-1, p-1). The number of bouts per week did not increase, but the average length of the bouts did increase above baseline (baseline, 60.2 ± 21.6 minutes/bout-1; week 1, 98.6 ± 57.7 minutes/bout-1; week 2, 114.6 ± 61.0 minutes/bout-1, week 3, 91.1 ± 44.1 minutes/bout-1; week 4, 101.2 ± 45.5 minutes/bout-1, p

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."