The expansion of a parent-focused physical literacy intervention for early childhood called PLAYshop

Carson, Valerie L | $150,000

Alberta University of Alberta 2021 CIHR Operating Grant


COVID‑19 restrictions have increased childhood physical inactivity putting many children at risk for sub-optimal development. The PLAYshop program, a novel, brief, theory-based, parent-focused physical literacy intervention, can support families to help mitigate this major public health issue. Our previous work, in higher socioeconomic status families, found improvements in parental outcomes to promote children’s physical literacy development or their « capacity for a physically active lifestyle ». In partnership with knowledge users, we will examine if the PLAYshop program increases parental confidence, knowledge, and perceived availability of resources to support preschool-aged children’s physical literacy development in families of lower socioeconomic status. We will also examine the PLAYshop program implementation. We will enroll 130 parents of preschool-aged children (3-5 years) among families classified as low income. The intervention group will receive a virtual workshop, a goody bag of resources/equipment, access to an online toolkit, and booster emails/texts. The waitlist control group will receive the same PLAYshop program at a later date. Parental variables will be measured with baseline and follow-up surveys. We will use statistical tests to determine if these variables are larger at follow-up in the intervention group compared to the control group, taking into account baseline values. We will explore implementation facilitators and barriers using telephone interviews with parents at 2-month follow-up and with workshop leaders at the end of the study. We will identify themes across these interviews. The PLAYshop program has the potential for meaningful benefits during and post COVID-19. Study findings will be informative for our large network of knowledge users who are interested in supporting the expansion of the PLAYshop program. Additionally, findings will inform future collaborations regarding an adapted PLAYshop program in Indigenous communities.

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