O'Connor TM, Cerin E, Hughes SO, Robles J, Thompson DI, Mendoza JA, Baranowski T, Lee RE. Psychometrics of the preschooler physical activity parenting practices instrument among a Latino sample. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2014 Jan 15;11:3.


BACKGROUND: Latino preschoolers (3-5 year old children) have among the highest rates of obesity. Low levels of physical activity (PA) are a risk factor for obesity. Characterizing what Latino parents do to encourage or discourage their preschooler to be physically active can help inform interventions to increase their PA. The objective was therefore to develop and assess the psychometrics of a new instrument: the Preschooler Physical Activity Parenting Practices (PPAPP) among a Latino sample, to assess parenting practices used to encourage or discourage PA among preschool-aged children. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 240 Latino parents who reported the frequency of using PA parenting practices. 95% of respondents were mothers; 42% had more than a high school education. Child mean age was 4.5 (±0.9) years (52% male). Test-retest reliability was assessed in 20%, 2 weeks later. We assessed the fit of a priori models using Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA). In a separate sub-sample (35%), preschool-aged children wore accelerometers to assess associations with their PA and PPAPP subscales. RESULTS: The a-priori models showed poor fit to the data. A modified factor structure for encouraging PPAPP had one multiple-item scale: engagement (15 items), and two single-items (have outdoor toys; not enroll in sport-reverse coded). The final factor structure for discouraging PPAPP had 4 subscales: promote inactive transport (3 items), promote screen time (3 items), psychological control (4 items) and restricting for safety (4 items). Test-retest reliability (ICC) for the two scales ranged from 0.56-0.85. Cronbach's alphas ranged from 0.5-0.9. Several sub-factors correlated in the expected direction with children's objectively measured PA. CONCLUSION: The final models for encouraging and discouraging PPAPP had moderate to good fit, with moderate to excellent test-retest reliabilities. The PPAPP should be further evaluated to better assess its associations with children's PA and offers a new tool for measuring PPAPP among Latino families with preschool-aged children.

Full Text

The full text is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-11-3

At A Glance

Individual Physical Activity Behavior Variables

Travel Walking
Leisure Walking


Individual Physical Activity Behavior

Measure Type


Measure Availability

Measure included in article

Number of Items

38 Reported

Study location


Texas, Harris County




Information about Development of Measure

The Preschooler Physical Activity Parenting Practices (PPAPP) for Latino Preschoolers questionnaire was based on a qualitative formative study with Latino parents of preschool children, and research on parental influences on child physical activity (PA). Five groups of Latino mothers were asked to identify what Latino parents do to encourage their preschool aged child to be physically active, and five were asked to identify what Latino parents do that may discourage their preschool aged child from PA. From this, 38 items for PA parenting practices were developed.

Study Design

Study Participants


2 - 5 Years






Predominantly Low-income/Low-SES


Sample Size


Study Design

Design Type


Health Outcomes Assessed


Obesity Measures

Not applicable

BMI Measured or Self-reported

Not applicable


Social influence (e.g., parent modeling)

Sociodemographic characteristics (socioeconomic status, race)

Data Reported on Race/Ethnicity

Quantitative data on study sample

Data Reported on SES

Quantitative data on study sample

SES-related Variables




How To Use


Who Administered

Third-party administered (e.g., parent/staff)

How Administered

Email/postal mail

Time Required

Not reported

Training Required

Yes, time not reported

Instructions on Use

Instructions on instrument use included in article

Data Analysis

Data Collection/Analysis Costs

Not reported

Data Collection/Protocol

Parents were asked to complete a demographic questionnaire and self-report instruments including the Preschooler Physical Activity Parenting Practices (PPAPP) survey. A sub-sample (20% of the total sample) was asked to complete the questionnaire a second time (two weeks later). A second sub-sample of parents (35%), with some overlap with the first, provided additional consent to have their 3 to 5 year old child wear data collection monitors including an accelerometer for a week.

Instructions on Data Analysis

Instructions on analysis included in article

Validity (1)

Type of validity Construct/subscale assessed Criterion measure used Test/statistic used Result
Criterion Preschooler Physical Activity Parenting Practices (PPAPP) survey, sub-scales Accelerometer counts per minute Partial correlation coefficients r = -0.06, NS to 0.15, p < 0.10

Reliability (2)

Type of reliability Construct/subscale assessed Test/statistic used Result
Test-retest Preschooler Physical Activity Parenting Practices (PPAPP) survey, sub-scales Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) ICC = 0.56 to 0.85
Internal Consistency Preschooler Physical Activity Parenting Practices (PPAPP) survey, sub-scales Cronbach's alpha Alpha = 0.5 to 0.90