Physical activity (PA) contains many benefits for adolescents’ physical and mental health, and for building healthy living routines and habits for the future. Motivation, especially intrinsic motivation, constitutes an important factor for PA amongst children and adolescents. In the current study, we tested the association between maternal and paternal parenting styles and adolescents’ PA motivation, while testing the mediating role of parental PA practices in this context. The sample included 143 boys and 165 girls, who completed an online battery of questionnaires through which they reported their own PA motivation and their parents’ parenting styles and PA-related practices. Boys reported significantly higher PA motivation than girls. The path model applied separately for both parents, yielding an acceptable model fit for mothers and a good model fit for fathers (even when considering the model’s multigroup analysis by child’s gender). It indicated that authoritative parenting was indirectly associated with adolescents’ PA self-motivation through parental PA-related practices as mediators (i.e., parental modelling, encouragement, and monitoring), while paternal authoritarian parenting had a similar, though smaller, positive effect on boys’ PA motivation. Finally, the indirect association between paternal authoritative parenting and adolescents’ PA motivation through PA-related practices was stronger for girls than for boys, suggesting that an authoritative fatherhood climate is more influential on girls’ PA motivation.
Yosi Yaffe, Tel-Hai College, Israel
Orr Levental, Tel-Hai College, Israel