Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: An intergenerational study of perceptions of changes in active free play among families from rural areas of Western Canada
Author(s): Holt, Nicholas L
Neely, Kacey C
Spence, John C
Carson, Valerie
Pynn, Shannon R
Boyd, Kassi A
Ingstrup, Meghan
Robinson, Zac
Keywords: Play
Physical activity sport
Issue Date: 19-Aug-2016
Date Deposited: 9-Jan-2019
Citation: Holt NL, Neely KC, Spence JC, Carson V, Pynn SR, Boyd KA, Ingstrup M & Robinson Z (2016) An intergenerational study of perceptions of changes in active free play among families from rural areas of Western Canada. BMC Public Health, 16 (1), Art. No.: 829.
Abstract: Background: Children's engagement in active free play has declined across recent generations. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of intergenerational changes in active free play among families from rural areas. We addressed two research questions: (1) How has active free play changed across three generations? (2) What suggestions do participants have for reviving active free play? Methods: Data were collected via 49 individual interviews with members of 16 families (15 grandparents, 16 parents, and 18 children) residing in rural areas/small towns in the Province of Alberta (Canada). Interview recordings were transcribed verbatim and subjected to thematic analysis guided by an ecological framework of active free play. Results: Factors that depicted the changing nature of active free play were coded in the themes of less imagination/more technology, safety concerns, surveillance, other children to play with, purposeful physical activity, play spaces/organized activities, and the good parenting ideal. Suggestions for reviving active free play were coded in the themes of enhance facilities to keep kids entertained, provide more opportunities for supervised play, create more community events, and decrease use of technology. Conclusions: These results reinforce the need to consider multiple levels of social ecology in the study of active free play, and highlight the importance of community-based initiatives to revive active free play in ways that are consistent with contemporary notions of good parenting
DOI Link: 10.1186/s12889-016-3490-2
Rights: © 2016 The Author(s).Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, andreproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link tothe Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.Holtet al. BMC Public Health (2016) 16:829 DOI 10.1186/s12889-016-3490-2
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
C24_An intergenerational study.pdfFulltext - Published Version477.46 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

A file in this item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.