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Last updated:

April 8, 2022


6 months


This course includes:

6 months

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

6 months


This course, Physical activity: a family affair, aims to explore the effects that the family has on the amount and nature of physical activity a child participates in. The beliefs and behaviors of the family environment are the key psycho-social factors we investigate here.


For most athletes, the journey to attaining expertise in sport frequently begins with an active childhood and taking an interest in sport from an early age. So what makes us sporty or active? Think back to your own early experiences of physical activity. Who played your first game of catch with you or taught you to ride your bike? The answer to these questions will most likely be a member of your family. There are many factors, psychological, social and biological, that shape who we are and what we do, and the family we are born into and grow up in is certainly one of these factors.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:
  • Summarise the main research evidence of family influence on a child’s level of physical activity participation
  • Relate expectancy-value theory (Eccles, 1993; Eccles et al., 1983) to parental involvement in children’s sporting experience
  • Understand how gender and parental gender stereotypes may affect parents’ support of children’s participation in sport.

Course Curriculum

    • What is the modern-day family unit? 01:00:00
    • Socialization into sport and physical activity 00:50:00
    • Are children becoming less active? 02:00:00
    • Theoretical perspectives of participation 02:00:00
    • How important is the family environment? 01:30:00
    • Gender differences 01:00:00
    • Do active parents have active children? 02:00:00
    • Putting the pieces together 03:00:00
    • Beliefs and values 01:00:00
    • Conclusion 00:40:00

About the instructor

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Open University UK