Parent wellbeing, family screen time and socioeconomic status during early childhood predict physical activity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at ages 8–13

Publication Name

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport


Objectives: Physical activity is holistically linked to culture and wellbeing among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the First Nation Peoples of Australia. Socioecological correlates of high physical activity among Indigenous children include living in a remote area and low screen time but little is known about early life determinants of physical activity. This paper examines sociodemographic, family, community, cultural, parent social and emotional wellbeing determinants of physical activity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Design: Longitudinal cohort study. Methods: The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children, the largest First Nations child cohort study in the world, primarily collects data through parental report. Multiple logistic regression analyses examined Wave 1 (age 0–5 years) predictors of achieving ≥1 h/day of physical activity at Wave 9 (aged 8–13 years). Results: Of the 1181 children, 596 (50.5 %) achieved ≥1 h of physical activity every day. Achieving ≥1 h/day of physical activity at Wave 9 was associated with the following Wave 1 determinants: high parent social and emotional wellbeing (resilience; adjusted odds ratio 1.87 (95 % confidence interval: 1.32–2.65)), living in remote (odds ratio 3.66 (2.42–5.54)), regional (odds ratio 2.98 (2.13–4.18)) or low socioeconomic areas (odds ratio 1.85 (1.08–3.17)), main source of family income not wages/salaries (odds ratio 0.66 (0.46–0.97)), and if families played electronic games (odds ratio 0.72 (0.55–0.94)). Conclusions: To achieve high physical activity levels among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, high parental culture specific social and emotional wellbeing and low family screen time in early life may compensate for apparently low socio-economic circumstances, including living in remote areas.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access





First Page


Last Page


Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Health and Medical Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)