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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7582398, 11 pages
Research Article

Associations between Parental and Friend Social Support and Children’s Physical Activity and Time Spent outside Playing

1Ministry of Education and Culture, 1434 Nicosia, Cyprus
2Department of Education, University of Cyprus, P.O. Box 20537, Nicosia, Cyprus

Correspondence should be addressed to Constantinos A. Loucaides

Received 27 July 2016; Revised 19 January 2017; Accepted 15 February 2017; Published 28 February 2017

Academic Editor: Raymond J. Hutchinson

Copyright © 2017 Constantinos A. Loucaides and Niki Tsangaridou. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this study was to examine the structural validity of a parent and a child questionnaire that assessed parental and friends’ influences on children’s physical activity and investigate the associations between the derived factors, physical activity, and time spent outside. Children (, mean age = 11.7) and 144 of their parents completed questionnaires assessing parental and friends’ influences on children’s physical activity. Children wore a pedometer for six days. Exploratory factor analyses revealed four factors for the parental and five for the child’s questionnaire that explained 66.71% and 63.85% of the variance, respectively. Five factors were significantly associated with physical activity and five significantly associated with time spent outside. Higher correlations were revealed between “general friend support,” “friends’ activity norms,” and physical activity ( and 0.333 resp., ) and between “general friend support” and time spent outside (, ). Obtaining information relating to parental and friends’ influences on physical activity from both parents and children may provide a more complete picture of influences. Parents and friends seem to influence children’s physical activity behavior and time spent outside, but friends’ influences may have a stronger impact on children’s behaviors.