Physical activity: a family affair
Physical activity: a family affair

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Physical activity: a family affair


This free course has built on your own experience of socialisation into sport and explored the role of the family in this process. A number of social and psychological factors have been considered and it is important to acknowledge these do not exist in isolation but all work together to influence athletic development.

The main learning points of this course include the following:

  • Families influence athletic development through providing opportunities for their children.
  • More active parents are likely to have more active children. A study showed children of two active parents were 5.8 times as likely to be active as children of two inactive parents (Moore et al., 1991).
  • Expectancy-value theory (Eccles, 1993; Eccles et al., 1983) states that if parents perceive sport to be an important achievement domain they will provide more frequent opportunities for their child to participate in sporting activities.
  • Some studies indicate a ‘parental gender stereotype’ among parents as they are more likely to partake in sport and physical activity with their sons than their daughters and are more likely to take their sons to sporting events, although attitudes may have changed in more recent years.
  • Certain family characteristics strongly support participation in youth sport. These include parents who achieved high standards within sport, are of relatively high socioeconomic status, support the child financially and dedicate time, and own a car, as well as there being two parents, a small family size, and children attending independent school.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371