Physical Activity and the Family

The BMED lab has focused on family physical activity promotion research, from early parenthood to support of child and youth health, for nearly two decades.  


We are currently recruiting participants for two studies related to habit formation and physical activity in families with either preschoolers (3 to 5 years) or children (6 to 12 years). Find out more about the studies and how to participate here.


Key Papers about Parental Support of Child Physical Activity


  1. Lane, C., Naylor, P.J., Predy, M., Kurtzhals, M., Rhodes, R.E., Morton, K., Hunter, S. & Carson, V. (2022). Exploring a parent-focused physical literacy intervention for early childhood: A pragmatic controlled trial of the PLAYshop. BMC Public Health, 22(659), 1-20.
  2. Jarvis, J.W., Berry, T.R., Carson, V., Rhodes, R.E., Lithopoulos, A., & Latimer-Cheung, A.E. (2021). Examining differences in parents’ perceptions of children’s physical activity versus screen time guidelines and behaviours. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 57(9), 1448-1453.
  3. Perdew, M., Liu, S., Rhodes, R.E., Ball, G., Masse, L., Hartrick, T., Strange, K., & Naylor, P.J. (2021). The effectiveness of a blended in-person and online family-based childhood obesity management program. Childhood Obesity, 17(1), 58-67.
  4. Rhodes, R.E., Quinlan, A., Naylor, P.J., Warburton, D.E.R., & Blanchard, C.M. (2021). Predicting family and child physical activity across six-months of a family-based intervention: An application of theory of planned behavior, planning and habit. Journal of Sports Sciences, 39(13), 1461-1471.
  5. Bassett-Gunter, R.L., Tanna, S., Arbour-Nicitopoulos, K.A., Rhodes, R.E., & Leo, J. (2020). Understanding the role of parents in supporting physical activity among children and youth with disabilities; A behavior change theory perspective. European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity. 13(11), 1-16.
  6. Rhodes, R.E., Guerrero, M.D., Vanderloo, L.M., Barbeau, K., Birken, C.S., Chaput, J., . . . Tremblay, M.S. (2020). Development of a consensus statement on the role of the family in the physical activity, sedentary, and sleep behaviours of children and youth. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 17(1), 1-31.
  7. Rhodes, R.E., Perdew, M., & Malli, S. (2020). Correlates of parental support of child and youth physical activity: A systematic review. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine,27(6), 636-646.
  8. Rhodes, R.E., Blanchard, C., Quinlan, A., Naylor, P.J., & Warburton, D.E.R. (2019). Family physical activity planning and child physical activity outcomes: A randomized trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 57(2), 135-292.
  9. Rhodes, R.E., Berry, T., Faulkner, G., Latimer-Cheung, A.E., O’Reilly, N., Tremblay, M.S, Vanderloo, L., & Spence, J.C. (2019). Application of the Multi-Process Action Control framework to understand parental support of child and youth physical activity, sleep, and screen time behaviors. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 11(2), 223-239.
  10. Rhodes, R.E., & Lim, C. (2018). Promoting parent and child physical activity together: Elicitation of potential intervention targets and preferences. Health Education & Behavior, 45(1), 112-123.


Key Papers about the Physical Activity of New Parents


  1. Divine, A. Blanchard, C.M., Benoit, C., Symons Downs, D., & Rhodes, R.E. (in press). The influence of sleep and movement behaviors on mental health and life satisfaction during the transition to parenthood. Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation.

  2. Grant, S., Lithopoulos, A., & Rhodes, R.E. (2022). Understanding action control of physical activity among mothers with young children. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 20(2), 569-585

  3. Rhodes, R.E., Beauchamp, M.R., Quinlan, A., Symons Downs, D., Warburton, D.E.R., & Blanchard, C.M. (2021). Predicting the physical activity of new parents who participated in a physical activity intervention. Social Science & Medicine, 284, 114221.

  4. Rhodes, R.E., Blanchard, C.M., Quinlan, A., Symons Downs, D., Warburton, D.E.R., & Beauchamp, M.R. (2021). Couple-based physical activity planning for new parents: A randomized trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 61(4): 518-528.

  5. Rhodes, R.E., Quinlan, A., Naylor, P.J., Warburton, D.E.R., & Blanchard, C.M. (2020). Predicting personal physical activity of parents during participation in a family intervention targeting their children. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 43, 209-224.

  6. Rhodes, R.E., Beauchamp, M., Blanchard, C.M., Bredin, S.S.D., Warburton, D.E.R., & Maddison, R. (2018). Use of in-home stationary cycling equipment among parents in a family-based randomized trial intervention. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 21(10), 1050-1056.

  7. Rhodes, R. E., Blanchard, C. M., Benoit, C., Levy-Milne, R., Naylor, P. J., Symons Downs, D., & Warburton, D. E. R. (2014). Social cognitive correlates of physical activity across 12 months in cohort samples of couples without children, expecting their first child and expecting their second child. Health Psychology, 33, 792-802.

  8. Bellows-Riecken, K. H., & Rhodes, R. E. (2008). A birth of inactivity? A review of physical activity and parenthood. Preventive Medicine, 46, 99-110.

Click Here for the full list of publications