HHP Undergraduate Research Spotlight - Dominique Bellardini

Dominique Bellardini

Major: Exercise Physiology

Faculty Mentor: Deirdre Dlugonski

Describe your current research project:

Our research is currently focusing on parental efficacy in their ability to promote physical activity among their preschool-aged children, and how that relates to their children’s physical activity levels.

Why did you choose this particular topic?

I chose this concept because I feel as though a lot of parents are not aware of how much physical activity their children should even be getting, let alone how to promote meeting recommended guidelines. If parents can intervene properly at an early age, a trend can begin, and their children may have a higher chance at maintaining physically active lifestyles.

What outcomes or impact do you hope your research will accomplish?

I hope that my research will correspond with my hypothesis that a lack of parental efficacy contributes to low levels of objectively measured physical activity among children. If this discovery is made, I hope that my research can contribute to intervention programs that not only target the children directly, but also target the parents and teach them how to effectively promote physical activity in their families. If a parent is confident in their ability to do so, the likelihood of them doing so increases, which is what we want!

Do you feel that participating in such research will impact your job placement after graduation? If so, how?

I think this research will help me in some way! I think it has helped me discover that one of my interests lies within physical activity promotion, and it shows that I’m passionate about trying to find the reasons behind why some individuals do not meet guidelines. While I don’t know exactly what career I wish to have, I think that this is definitely a great experience that is encouraging me to start developing my own forms of physical activity interventions that could be effective.

What has been your favorite part of your research?

We’ve started getting the basics ready for our research and we’re on our way towards IRB approval right now, but I think one of my favorite parts of the research was finding what sort of questionnaires to use. I thought it was so interesting to see all the possible questions that could be asked to determine certain variables. There are so many underlying causes that we may not even recognize, and I found it so amazing that individuals who composed other studies were asking questions that I wouldn’t have even thought of.