Supporting Family Efficacy in Physical Activity Using Reminiscence Technologies

Presenter: Nur Akbulut

Research Category: Health Sciences
Additional Authors: Denise Douglas, Andrea G. Parker, Herman Saksono

Childhood obesity is a health epidemic that is disproportionately burdening low-income households in the U.S. Parent/caregiver support in the child’s physical activity (PA) levels is critical for long term improvement in their physical activity habits. Digital tools, such as reminiscence technologies can be used to catalyze PA conversations between the caregiver and the child, thus enabling self-modeling using past PA experiences and support self-efficacy.

To investigate how family PA reminiscence unfolds, 12 families were asked to use the Storywell app for three months. Storywell is a PA-themed storybook app that has reflective questions at the end of each chapter. The responses (n = 235 verbal sentences) were analyzed using a deductive qualitative method with Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System (DPICS) II as the codebook.

Four clusters of responses emerged from the analysis. The Yes/No Cluster (n = 3 families), where the children mainly responded with acknowledgements. The Balanced Cluster (n = 4 families), where there was a balance between the Acknowledgements and Information or Behavioral Description (IBD). The Detailed Cluster (n =4  families), where the IBD responses were greater, and the child gave detailed answers. The Limited Responses Cluster (n = 1 families), where there were almost no responses given. This work contributes knowledge on how family’s PA reminiscence unfolds. This knowledge informs the design of adaptive health technologies that scaffolds caregiver-child conversations depending on the depth of the child’s response towards supporting children’s self-efficacy to be physically active.