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Title:Family child care physical activity ecology: A qualitative GIS study
Author(s):Figueroa Bautista, Roger
Director of Research:Wiley, Angela R.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Wiley, Angela R.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Jarrett, Robin; McBride, Brent; Kwan, Mei-Po
Department / Program:Human Dvlpmt & Family Studies
Discipline:Human & Community Development
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Family child care
Physical activity
Geographic information system (GIS)
Abstract:Most preschoolers fail to meet recommended guidelines for physical activity, and those attending family child care settings spend nine minutes or less per hour of care in physical activity compared to the recommended 15 minutes per hour of care. Family child care providers (FCCPs) and settings play a fundamental role in shaping preschool children’s development, including their physical activity behaviors. However, there is a dearth of research focused on the promotion of children's physical activity within the family child care context, in part because the population is logistically difficult to reach. Through a socioecological lens, this mixed-method dissertation examines the spatial and social processes by which FCCPs shape opportunities for preschoolers’ physical activity engagement in their community context. This study contributed to a better understanding of how physical activity practices and behaviors are embedded in the context and physical spaces of FCCPs. Data from this study came from a sample of family child care providers from a Midwestern U.S. state, gathered between December 2013 to April 2017 as part of the Family Child Care Health Study. The data for this dissertation project included approximately 342 family child care homes with a sub-set of 21 FCCPs recruited from the larger pool who completed 42 qualitative, semi-structured interviews (two per FCCP). Descriptive GIS methods were used to shed light on environmental features linked to each family child care home. Descriptive statistics were performed to summarize demographic characteristics of FCCPs in the qualitative subsample. Sociospatial grounded theory and analytical induction approaches facilitated analyses of narrative data from these FCCPs, and subsequent development of theoretical frameworks shed light on the processes by which they promote physical activity in the family child care context. Overall, a theoretical framework emerged from the data that explains sociospatial processes shaping preschoolers’ physical activity opportunities within the Family Child Care Physical Activity ecology. Key contextual factors (i.e., state- and site-level policies, access to indoor and outdoor spaces, FCCPs program capabilities) shape these opportunities through the core category of flexible physical activity programming. This programming ensures developmentally diverse children in mixed-age groups are able engage in what is known in the literature as "children's play." While FCCPs were asked about physical activity more generally, their conceptualization within this context revolves around the promotion of play for various purposes, including play for: 1) enjoyment and self-expression; 2) for expending children's exuberant excess of energy; 3) free, aimless, and diverting activity without purpose; 4) motor skill development. This framework may now serve as a secondary tool for examining opportunities for preschoolers’ physical activity in this understudied context and with this underserved population.
Issue Date:2017-06-26
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Roger Bautista Figueroa
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-09-29
Date Deposited:2017-08

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