Using mixed methods to understand women's parenting practices related to their child's outdoor play and physical activity among families living in diverse neighborhood environments

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A convergent parallel mixed methods design was used to understand parenting practices for outdoor play, their influence on adolescent's physical activity and outdoor play and the role of the neighborhood and child's sex. Adolescents (n = 263) and their parents completed questionnaires and wore accelerometers. Parents (n = 30) participated in in-depth interviews. Parenting practices were examined by neighborhood disadvantage and child's sex in quantitative (Chi-square and T-tests) and qualitative (comparative thematic analysis) samples. Multi-level linear mixed models examined the associations between parenting practices and two adolescent outcomes: physical activity and outdoor play. Parents in high disadvantage neighborhoods and of female adolescents imposed more restrictions on outdoor play. Restrictive parenting practices were negatively associated with outdoor play, but not physical activity. Policy and environment change that improves neighborhood conditions may be necessary to reduce parents' fear and lessen restrictions on outdoor play.

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Health & place

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