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Table 1 Summary of measures included in the analysis

From: Individual-, home- and preschool-level correlates of preschool children’s sedentary time

Level of influenceVariableSurvey items in the questionnaireScale, coding, and Cronbach alpha if relevantDescriptiveN
Individual levelGender 1 = girl, 2 = boy  
Age ContinuousMean 4.74 SD 0.89864
BMI  Mean 15.87 SD 1.42809
SurgencyBased on established codings (see Putnam & Rothbart, 2006). E.g., likes going down high slides or other adventurous activities; often rushes into new situations;Scale from extremely untrue of your child (1) to extremely true of your child (7), Cronbach alpha 0.80Mean 4.69 SD 0.09751
Negative affectivityBased on established codings (see Putnam & Rothbart, 2006). E.g., gets angry when s/he cannot find something s/he wants to play with; becomes upset when loved relatives or friends are getting ready to leave following a visitScale from extremely untrue of your child (1) to extremely true of your child (7), Cronbach alpha 0.76Mean 3.70 SD 0.88751
Effortful controlBased on established codings (see Putnam & Rothbart, 2006). E.g., when drawing or coloring in a book, shows strong concentration; prepares for trips and outings by planning things s/he will need.Scale from extremely untrue of your child (1) to extremely true of your child (7), Cronbach alpha 0.74Mean 5.20
SD 0.72
751
Home level
 Parental beliefs and attitudesParental self-efficacy for activating child for physical activity (PA) 1How confident are you that you could do the following? a) I can get my child to do something physically active no matter how busy his/her day is. b) I can get my child to be physically active no matter what the weather is like. c) I can get my child to be physically active even if he/she wants to use electronic devices. d) I can get my child to be physically active even if he/she wants to stay inside. e) I can get my child to be physically active even when there are no other children playing outside.The answer options ranged from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). The statements were combined and divided by the number of items. Cronbach alpha 0.62Mean 4.05
SD 0.75
789
Parental self-efficacy for limiting children’s screen time 1How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? a) I am concerned about my child’s use of electronic devices. b) I find it difficult to limit my child’s screen time if he/she does not want and starts whinging. c) I find it difficult to restrain myself from using electronic devices when my child is around.The answer options ranged from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). The statements were combined and divided by the number of items. Cronbach alpha 0.46Mean 1.9
SD 0.74
793
Parental attitude for importance of PAHow much do you agree or disagree with the following statement? a) It is important for me to make sure my child gets enough PA each day.The answer option ranged from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). In the analyses, the ‘somewhat disagree’ was treated as a reference category as there were no ‘strongly disagree’ answers.Mean 4.34
SD 0.70
797
Parental attitude toward societal pressures for screen time 1How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? a) Sport as a hobby and the related costs (e.g., equipment, materials, subscription fees) are too expensive. b) There is pressure from society to purchase and use different electronic devices. c) It is important for my child to learn how to use electronic devices, because I am not very good at using them myself.The answer options ranged from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). The statements were combined and divided by the number of items. Cronbach alpha 0.34Mean 2.8
SD 0.80
791
Parental perceived barriers related to children’s outside PA1How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? a) Poor weather limits my child’s opportunities to play outside. b) I find it difficult to let my child be physically active outside as I always have to be there to supervise him/her.The answer options ranged from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). The statements were combined and divided by the number of items. Cronbach alpha 0.36Mean 2.23
SD 0.92
792
Parental beliefs of unhealthy energy balance-related behaviors (EBRBs) as a problemTo what extent do you think the following matters are generally a problem among 3-to-6-year-old children? a) Being overweight. b) Excessive screen time. c) Physical inactivityThe answer options ranged from not at all a problem (1) to a very big problem (5). The statements were combined and divided by the number of items. Cronbach alpha 0.75Mean 3.27
SD 0.65
800
 Parenting practicesRules for limiting children’s screen timeDo you have limits on how much time your child can spend: a) Watching television. b) Using other screens.The three answer options were “yes,” “no,” and “don’t have the equipment.” This question was recoded so that “don’t have the equipment” answers [for the television N = 20 (2.5%) and for other equipment N = 15 (2%)] were set as missing values.Yes(0) = 74%,
n = 565
No (1) = 26%,
n = 197
762
Parental practice for allowing child run around insideHow much do you agree or disagree with the following statement? a) My child is allowed to run around and be physically active inside our house.The answer options ranged from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5).Mean 4.38
SD 0.90
796
Parental screen use in front of childrenApproximately how many hours a day do YOU usually use electronic devices during leisure time when your child is around a) During weekdays. b) During weekends.Answer options (per day): 1 = none, 2 = less than 30 min, 3 = 30 min–1 h, 4 = 1–2 h, 5 = 3–4 h, 6 = 5 h or more. The items were recoded so that 1 = less than 30 min, 2 = 30–60 min, 3 = more than 60 min, and they were combined into one variable. This sum variable was recoded into three categories: 1 = less than 30 min, 2 = 30–60 min, 3 = more than 60 min.Less than 30 min (1) = 33%, n = 263
30–60 min (2) = 40%,
n = 320
More than 60 min (3) =27%,
n = 213
796
Parental PA in front of childrenDuring the past week, how often did your child see you being physically active?Answer options: never (1), 1–2 times (2), 3–4 times (3), 5–6 times (4) and daily (5).Mean 2.6
SD 1.19
798
Frequent co-visits in PA placesHow often does your child go to the following places with at least one adult in the family? a) Nature/forest. b) Park and playground. c) Own yard. d) An indoor facilityThe original answer options (less than once a month (1), 1–3 times per a month (2), 1–2 times a week (3), 3–4 times a week (4), 5–6 times a week (5) and daily (6)) were recoded to average weekly visits together at least with one parent in parks, forests/nature, own yard and indoor sport facilities.Mean 7.8
SD 3.8
799
Mother’s educational levelThe highest educational attainment on a seven-item list:
(1) comprehensive school (2) vocational school (3) high school (4) bachelor’s degree or college (5) master’s degree and (6) licentiate/doctor (7) other.
The response options were re-organized into three groups: a low education was defined as comprehensive schooling (usually from ages 7–16) to secondary education (usually ages 16–19); a medium level refers to a bachelor’s degree; and a high education as at least a master’s degree.Low education 30%, n = 251
Medium education 41%, n = 353
High education 29%, n = 250
853
Preschool level
 Principals’ beliefs and attitudesPrincipals’ personal interest in healthHow much do you agree or disagree with the following statement? a) I am personally interested in nutrition, PA, and health.The answer options ranged from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). In the analyses, the ‘either agree or disagree’ was treated as a reference category as there were no strongly disagree or somewhat disagree answers.Mean 4.63
SD 0.55
58
Principals’ attitude about the importance of children’s PAHow much do you agree or disagree with the following statement? a) In my opinion, it is important to increase children’s PA in preschool.The answer options ranged from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5).Mean 4.77
SD 0.53
58
Principals’ attitude about the importance of decreasing children’s sedentary timeHow much do you agree or disagree with the following statement? a) In my opinion, it is important to decrease children’s sedentary time in preschool.The answer options ranged from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5).Mean 4.63
SD 0.66
58
Principals’ self-efficacy for influencing children’s behaviorsTo what extent can you, as the principal, impact the following? a) How physically active the children are. b) The number of electronic devices in the preschool. c) The use of electronic devices in the preschool.The answer options ranged from not at all (1) to very much (5). Cronbach alpha 0.65Mean 3.92
SD 0.75
58
Principals’ beliefs of unhealthy EBRBs as a problemTo what extent do you think that following matters are generally a problem among 3-to-6-year-old children? a) Being overweight; b) Excessive screen time; c) Physical inactivityThe answer options ranged from not at all a problem
(1) to a very big problem (5).
The statements were combined and divided by the number of items. Cronbach alpha 0.70
Mean 3.04
SD 0.62
58
 Organizational policies and practicesFrequency of visits in PA placesHow often does your preschool group visit the following places: a. Forest/place for a nature trip. b. Park. c. Neighborhood sports facilities or Gym. d. Other indoor facility for PA. Partly open-ended question so that early educator openly reported the times, but selected the frequency from options: weekly, monthly, yearly.Recoded so that average weekly level visits in nature/forests, parks, gym (not own) or neighborhood sport facilities was calculatedMean 1.74
SD 1.35
142
Screen time policyDo you have instructions on the following themes in your preschool: a) Permitted screen time for the children. b) Supervision of the children’s use of electronic devices. c) Staff’s use of own electronic devices. d) In-service training for the staff on screen time. e) Bringing electronic devices to the preschool on a toy day (e.g., a tablet)The original answer options (1 = no instructions, 2 = oral instructions, 3 = own written instructions and 4 = other written instructions) were summed up so that a maximum score 20 means that all asked items are other written instructions; the possible range in scores was between 4 and 20.Mean 8.55
SD 2.50, measured minimum 5 and maximum 15
58
Guidance for families policyDo you have instructions on following themes in your preschool: a) Guidance for families on children’s PA (indoors and outdoors). b) Guidance for families on screen time.The original answer options (1 = no instructions, 2 = oral instructions, 3 = own written instructions and 4 = other written instructions) were summed up so that a maximum score 8 means that all asked items are other written instructions; the possible range in scores was between 2 and 8.Mean 3.27
SD 1.66,
Measured minimum 2 and maximum 8
58
Healthy PA policyDo you have instructions on the following themes in your preschool: a) Children’s daily amount PA indoors and outdoors. b) Limiting children’s sedentary behavior. c) Staff’s practices in encouraging PA. d) Planned physical education for children. e) In-service training for staff on children’s PA (indoors and outdoors). f) Ensuring sufficient outdoor play time regardless of the weather conditions. g) Limiting children’s PA/running outdoors. h) Limiting children’s PA/running indoors.The original answer options (1 = no instructions, 2 = oral instructions, 3 = own written instructions and 4 = other written instructions) were summed up so that a maximum score 32 means that all asked items are other written instructions; the possible range in scores was between 4 and 32.Mean 19.55
SD 5.37
Measured minimum 10 and maximum 32
58
Active play possibility during free playDo children always have the possibility to play actively during free play time? a) In the group facilities. b) Elsewhere than in the group facilitiesCombined measure so that Yes = possible to play actively at least in one place, or no = no possible at all. Due to answer distribution, this measure was recoded so that 1 = no at all possible, 0 = others14,5% had no active play possibility, n = 21 groups142
Preschool neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES)The score for the SES of each preschool was calculated using database information on a) income (median population income in the area logarithmically transformed), b) educational level (percentage of over 18-year-olds whose highest educational level was a master’s degree or beyond), and c) area unemployment rate. The unemployment rate was coded inversely to get higher values for lower unemployment rates.The preschool SES score for each preschool neighborhood was calculated by taking the mean value of the z scores on income, educational level and unemployment rate. The score was then divided into tertiles representing low, middle, and high preschool SES.31,5% in low SES, n = 21
30,7% in middle SES, n = 21
37,8% in high SES, n = 24
66
  1. 1 Based on loadings in the factor analysis
  2. PA Physical activity, EBRBs Energy balance-related behaviors, SES Socioeconomic status, SD Standard deviation