BACKGROUND: Parents play an important role in the lives of adolescents, particularly in relation to physical activity (PA). They act as role models and offer emotional support. Yet, the way adolescents perceive this support can influence levels of participation in PA. PURPOSE: To understand adolescents' perception of parental support in regards to PA participation. METHODS: Participants (N=1072) included adolescents aged 12-17 years and their parents from a national survey, the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health and Eating Study (FLASHE). The FLASHE study was a cross-sectional study conducted in 2014 by the National Cancer Institute to understand the relationships between healthy behaviors and cancer among a nationally representative sample of the United States parent-adolescent dyads. This data focuses only on the adolescents, specifically their report of parenting style related to PA support. Adolescents answered six survey questions using a 5 point Likert Scale related to their agreement with what their parents say and do when it comes to PA. Descriptive statistics were calculated and differences reported between males and females using an Independent Samples t-test (p<0.05). RESULTS: Adolescents were between ages 12-17 years and of normal body size (BMI boys: 22.71±4.71.4 kg; BMI girls: 22.02±4.8). Frequencies indicated adolescents “somewhat agreed” that parents: “have to make sure I get enough PA” (30%); “take me places where I can be PA” (40%); “make me exercise or go out and play” (27%); and “try to be PA when I am around”(31%). However, 43% of adolescents reported they “disagree” that decisions are made together regarding PA and 48% “agreed” that it was okay for rules to be made by parents about the amount of PA. Nonetheless, adolescents reported having a very good (38%) or excellent (42%) health status. There was no significant difference between the male and female responses. CONCLUSION: Overall, adolescents mostly feel supported by their parents in terms of engagement in PA. However, when it comes to making the rules, adolescents appear to be content with not being involved in deciding the amount of PA they should engage in as parents seem to be fulfilling this role for them. Thus, parents are a key factor in adolescents achieving the appropriate amount of PA.

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