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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS

A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology


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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  PSYCHOLOGY


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017 October;57(10):1375-81

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06732-3

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Children and adolescent physical activity participation and enjoyment during active play

Asal MOGHADDASZADEH, Yasamin AHMADI, Angelo N. BELCASTRO

Pediatric Exercise Science Laboratory, School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada


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BACKGROUND: Girls’ (9-19 years) participation in physical activity (PA) is known to decrease at a faster rate than boys. A reduction in PA attractiveness (enjoyment) and lower psychosocial profile of girls approaching biological maturity may underlie the decreasing rate of PA participation. Since engaging children in active play programs improves health related quality of life indictors and enjoyment levels; the purposes of this study were to: 1) assess psychosocial status and PA attractiveness/enjoyment of boys and girls to an eight-week active play program; and 2) investigate the relationships among PA participation, psychosocial status and PA attractiveness with both age and maturity status for boys and girls following an active play PA program.
METHODS: Thirty-three children (age 9.8±1.3 years; weight 43.1±13.4 kg; BMI 20.8±3.2 kg/m2) were recruited to participate in an active play program for 8 weeks (4x/week; 1hr/d). M-S estimates ranged from -6.7 to -2.5 years away from biological maturity Daily program PA was assessed and compared to pre-post measures of psychosocial functioning and PA attractiveness. Statistical procedures were performed using ANOVA and/or Pearson’s correlation r (SPSS v. 22.0) with P=0.05.
RESULTS: PA participation in the active play program showed a group average of 39±11% time spent in moderate-vigorous PA (%MVPA) with boys averaging 45% MVPA and girls averaging 30% MVPA (P<0.05). PA attractiveness scores for boys did not change following the program; whereas girls improved from 67±13% to 76±9% (P<0.05). Minimal changes were noted for the health-related quality of life measures as a result of the PA program. Comparing PA attractiveness to %MVPA, 80% of girls reporting positive changes or no change; in contrast 56% of boys responded with negative/less PA attractiveness. PA attractiveness for all children was negatively associated with age (r=-0.19) and/or M-S (r=-0.29). The relationships, however, were gender specific with boys exhibiting a coefficient of -0.28 (age) and -0.61 (M-S) (P<0.05). For girls, increased PA attractiveness promoted less decline in %MVPA for M-S (r=0.18) compared to age (r=-0.17).
CONCLUSIONS: For girls, approaching biological maturity, PA enjoyment/attractiveness can be positively influenced with an active play program, which is a major consideration promoting PA participation in girls but not boys.


KEY WORDS: Exercise - Physical education and training - Growth and development

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Publication History

Issue published online: August 30, 2017
Article first published online: December 22, 2016
Manuscript accepted: December 20, 2016
Manuscript revised: November 29, 2016
Manuscript received: May 27, 2016

Cite this article as

Moghaddaszadeh A, Ahmadi Y, Belcastro AN. Children and adolescent physical activity participation and enjoyment during active play. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2017;57:1375-81. DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06732-3

Corresponding author e-mail

anbelcas@yorku.ca