Identifying salient beliefs regarding physical activity among parents of children with disabilities: An elicitation study


Background: Parental support is an important contributor to physical activity (PA) among children and youth with disabilities (CWD) (Antle et al., 2007), yet predictors of parental support are not well understood. Purpose: To examine salient beliefs related to parental support among parents of CWD. Methods: Parents of CWD (N=28; Mage = 39.7, 92.5% female) completed an online questionnaire designed to elicit behavioural, normative and control beliefs based on an adapted Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) (Ajzen, 2006; Rhodes et al., 2013). Content analyses identified parents' salient beliefs about a) PA participation and b) supporting PA for CWD. Results: Salient beliefs included: a) behavioural beliefs for PA such as health benefits, feelings of normalcy, social interactions; b) behavioural beliefs for supporting PA such as bonding, parent PA participation, safety, mood and effort; c) normative beliefs regarding the importance of school, families with CWD and doctors; d) control beliefs for PA regarding availability, quality and accessibility of programming, and e) control beliefs for supporting PA including time, cost and transportation. Conclusion: Findings suggested that parents hold a range of beliefs toward PA and supporting their child's PA. Control beliefs were most prominently discussed. These data will inform the development of a questionnaire to identify key predictors of parental support, preferred sources and methods of communication for information and interventions regarding CWD PA. Information gained from this study will contribute to our understanding of parental support and examine the applicability of the TPB in identifying predictors of parental support for PA among CWD.