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Keeping All Children Healthy: Challenges to Leading an Active Lifestyle for Preschool Children Qualifying for At-Risk Programs

Goodway, Jacqueline D. PhD; Smith, Dennis W. PhD, FASHA

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This study examined contextual factors associated with physical activity of urban African American preschoolers (N = 59). Qualitative research methodologies utilized data from home visits, caregiver and child interviews, field notes, and document collection. The primary finding suggested, “In underserved communities fundamental barriers exist that obstruct young children's ability to be physically active.” Four themes were developed revealing that outside environments limited opportunities for physical activity, home environments resulted in sedentary behaviors, and communities had limited physical activity role models. Despite this, young children enjoyed being physically active.

School of Physical Activity and Educational Services, The Ohio State University, Columbus (Dr Goodway); and the Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, Tex (Dr Smith).

Corresponding author: Jacqueline D. Goodway, PhD, School of Physical Activity and Educational Services, The Ohio State University, 303 Pomerene Hall, 1760 Neil Ave, Columbus, OH 43026 (e-mail: goodway-shiebler.1@osu.edu).

These data were collected by the first author as part of a doctoral dissertation at Michigan State University under the guidance of Crystal F. Branta and with the support of a grant from the Michigan Institute for Children, Youth and Families.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.