(P100136)| Volume 25, SUPPLEMENT 2, S21-S22, November 2022

Parental influences on physical activity and sport participation amongst adolescent girls from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds

      Introduction: Despite known health and social benefits associated with regular physical activity (PA), participation rates in PA and sport decline rapidly during adolescence, particularly for girls. Some literature suggests there are steeper declines in PA and sport participation among those from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, particularly those of Middle Eastern backgrounds. Parents can play an important role in influencing PA and sport participation of adolescent girls (e.g., positive role modelling). However, limited research has been conducted on the influence that parents from Middle Eastern backgrounds have on their daughters’ PA and sport participation.
      Methods: A total of 18 adolescent daughters (mean [±SD] age = 15.5 ± 0.7 years) and 9 parents (7 mothers, 2 fathers; 45.11 ± 7.56 years) of Middle Eastern background residing Greater Western Sydney were included in this qualitative study. Semi-structured focus groups (n = 5) and individual interviews (n = 4) were conducted to explore the perceptions and attitudes regarding PA and sport participation of parents and adolescent girls from Middle Eastern backgrounds, with references to culture, religion, and family. A thematic analysis, using an inductive approach, was used to analyse the data. Data analysis was conducted using Quirkos software.
      Results: Participants reported barriers and facilitators to girls’ PA and sport participation. A total of three main themes, family, social support, and religion and culture, and 14 subthemes emerged. The theme family encompassed the following subthemes, gender roles and expectations, education as a priority, family responsibilities, and family reputation and representation. The second theme, social support included was identified as both a barrier and facilitator to PA and sport participation. For example, family, peers, and schools were identified as positive influences on girls’ PA engagement, yet girls also perceived family to be a barrier at times, along with technology and social media. The theme of religion and culture comprised subthemes of religion as a barrier, appearance and clothing, interactions with the opposite gender, religion as a motivator, and cultural expectations and representation. Many of the factors associated with religion and culture were perceived to be both barriers and facilitators PA and sport participation.
      Conclusion: The current study explored the perceptions of parents and adolescent girls from a Middle Eastern background, on PA and sport participation. Family, social support, culture and religion were identified as the main factors that shape both parents and adolescent girls’ attitudes and perceptions towards PA and sport participation.
      Impact/Application to the field:
      • This study can be used to inform culturally tailored PA interventions for adolescent girls and their parents.
      • Future research should consider actively engaging parents and highlighting elements of culture and religion to promote PA participation among Middle Eastern adolescent girls.
      Conflict of interest statement: My co-authors and I acknowledge that we have no conflict of interest of relevance to the submission of this abstract