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Associations between South African preschoolers’ routine physical activity, self-regulation and psychosocial well-being

Cook, C.J.
Howard, S.J.
Scerif, G.
Twine, R.
Kahn, K.
Norris, S.A.
Draper, C.E.
Abstract
Physical activity (PA) is an essential health behaviour with a wide range of benefits, including the potential for a beneficial association with self-regulation and psychosocial well-being. However, evidence for this relationship remains scarce in the preschool age-group and in low-income countries. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the relationship between self-regulation and psychosocial well-being on the one hand and objectively measured, free-living PA in 119 preschool children (Mage = 50.7 months, SD = 8.4) on the other from low-income settings in South Africa. PA was objectively measured using accelerometry and teacher-report ratings of self-regulation and psychosocial well-being were collected. Results revealed that time spent in both TPA (B = −0.233, p = 0.005) and MVPA (B = −0.181, p = 0.039) was negatively associated with self-regulation skills. Additionally, time spent in TPA (B = 0.180, p = 0.034) was positively (detrimentally) associated with externalising behaviour problems. This study suggests a negative association between self-regulation as well as externalising behaviour and PA, but also highlights the need for more comprehensive and longitudinal research in low and middle-income countries, taking into consideration the nature and context of free-living PA in these settings in order to better understand these relationships and their potential confounds.
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Date
2021-01-23
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Publisher
Elsevier
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Keywords
Sociability , Externalising , Low-income , Accelerometry , Early childhood , Psychosocial well-being , SDG-03 Good health and well-being
Citation
Cook CJ, Howard SJ, Scerif G, Twine R, Kahn K, Norris SA, Draper C.E. Associations between South African preschoolers’ routine physical activity, self-regulation and psychosocial well-being. Mental Health and Physical Activity. 2021;20:100383. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mhpa.2021.100383.
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