John Cairney

John Cairney
The University of Queensland | UQ · School of Human Movement Studies

PhD

About

407
Publications
110,213
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
19,600
Citations
Introduction
Currently, I am a Professor and Head of the School Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences at the University of Queensland. I have three main areas of interest: (1) the epidemiology of mental health problems over the lifespan; (2) the impact of childhood physical disability on psychosocial and physical development in children; and (3) the relationship between physical activity (habitual and exercise) and health.
Additional affiliations
January 2020 - present
The University of Queensland
Position
  • Head of Department
July 2016 - January 2020
University of Toronto
Position
  • Professor (Full)
September 2013 - present
McMaster University
Position
  • Director of the Infant Child Health (INCH) Research Lab
Description
  • www.inchlab.ca
Education
September 2001 - January 2003
McMaster University
Field of study
  • Psychiatric Epidemiology
September 1996 - June 2002
September 1993 - June 1995
Queen's University
Field of study

Publications

Publications (407)
Article
Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) have higher rates of obesity compared to children with typical motor development, and, as a result may be at increased risk for developing metabolic syndrome (MetS). The purpose of this study was to determine the presence of MetS and its components among children with and without DCD. This nes...
Article
Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) are known to participate in active play less than typically developing children. However, it is not known whether the activity deficit between children with and without DCD widens or diminishes over time. Data were obtained from a large, prospective cohort study of children (baseline n=2278, t...
Article
To test a theoretical model linking developmental coordination disorder (DCD) to reduced physical activity (PA) through the mediating influence of generalized self-efficacy regarding PA. This was a cross-sectional investigation of students in grades 4 through 8 from 5 elementary schools in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada (n=590). Motor profic...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To determine the effects of learning interventions aimed at optimizing the quality of physical education (PE) on psychomotor, cognitive, affective and social learning outcomes in children and adolescents. Design A systematic review and meta-analysis. Data Sources After searching PsycInfo, ERIC, and SportDiscus electronic databases, we i...
Article
Although psychological distress has been shown to increase during adolescence, participation in organized activities may have protective effects. The present study aimed to identify whether there is a relationship between high school student-athletes’ breadth of participation in organized activities and psychological distress, using a latent class...
Article
Objectives This study examined the physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) along with the developmental progression of 2087 Canadian students. It also examined whether their physical literacy (PL) predicts latent class affiliations and transition probabilities from grades 5 to 6 and whether this affiliation in grade 6 predicts body mass...
Article
Grounded in social cognitive theory (SCT), this study sought to examine whether parents perceived social cognitive factors regarding children's physical activity (PA) behaviors were associated with preschool children's moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) levels. A total of 142 Hong Kong parent-child pairs from five preschools/childcare centers completed...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Increased adiposity in children confers a higher risk of cardiovascular disease in later life, with low cardiorespiratory fitness strongly linked to poorer metabolic health. Children with motor coordination problems are likely to be less physically fit and at a higher risk of obesity. In this study, we examined the associations between aero...
Article
Purpose: The associations between longitudinal physical activity (PA) patterns across childhood and physical literacy have not been studied. The purpose of this study was to identify PA trajectories from preschool to school-age, and to determine if trajectory group membership was associated with school-age physical literacy. Methods: Participant...
Article
The evaluation of motor coordination is important for diagnosing children and adolescents with motor impairments. However, motor coordination may be affected by time-of-day effects, and thus, the intra-day variation could subsequently influence the assessment accuracy of the standardized test used in the diagnostic process. To the best of our knowl...
Article
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate longitudinal associations between physical activity and early childhood neurodevelopment. Methods: Data from 1673 children from the 2015 Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohort study were analyzed. Physical activity was measured using accelerometers on the wrist at ages 1, 2, and 4 years. Neurodevelopme...
Article
Full-text available
Background To date, no research has investigated social determinants of leisure time physical activity through the lens of intersectionality in a low- and middle-income country. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the intersectionality in leisure time physical activity in a nationwide sample of Brazilian adults. Methods Data from the B...
Article
The concept of physical literacy (PL) has gained increasing attention over the last decade and posits that individuals value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life through (a) motivation/ confidence, (b) physical competence, and (c) knowledge/understanding. There is a mounting number of articles that have recently tr...
Article
This study explored how athletes’ symptoms of mental disorders changed over the course of pandemic year. Predictors of baseline levels and changes in symptoms of mental disorders were also examined. Surveys were completed four times throughout a year by Canadian athletes training for the 2020 Olympics/Paralympics (ntime1 = 186, ntime2 = 142, ntime3...
Article
This study examined the home advantage effect in decisive National Basketball Association Conference Finals and Finals series playoff games from 1979 to 2019 (the 3-point shot era). We also examined the potential contribution of various offensive- and defensive-based skills and whether these skills mediated the relationship between game status (dec...
Article
The aim of this study was to apply the Multi-Process Action Control model to examine how the additions of regulatory and reflexive processes predict physical activity (PA) behaviors among adolescents. Our sample included 1,176 Grade 11 students ( M age = 15.85 ± 0.38) recruited from a large school board in Southern Ontario. Participants completed a...
Article
Full-text available
Movement behaviors have been found to be important correlates of health for children and may be particularly important for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) who often experience greater mental health problems. To date, however, little research has investigated the daily movement composition of preschool children with Developme...
Chapter
The Pediatric Collections: Sports Medicine Playbook will increase pediatric providers’ understanding of the injuries that young athletes may incur – including their history, treatment, and prevention. Each section includes a unique expert introduction and they cover such topics as the benefits of physical activity, injuries, and concerns including...
Article
Full-text available
In a global and highly competitive world, the importance of creativity is increasing as it supports adaptability, health, and actualization. Yet, because most research focuses on what it takes to produce creative artifacts, interventions supporting growth in creative potential remains underexplored. To address this limitation, the first goal of thi...
Preprint
Movement behaviours have been found to be important correlates of health for children and may be particularly important for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) who often experience greater mental health problems. To date, however, little research has investigated the daily movement composition of preschool children with Developm...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Research supports the efficacy of acute, classroom-based, physical activity breaks on executive functioning in children. However, research pertaining to the effect of physical fitness on the acute physical activity—executive functioning relationship remains limited. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effects o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background To date, no research has investigated social determinants of leisure time physical activity through the lens of intersectionality in a low- and middle-income country. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the intersectionality in leisure time physical activity in a nationwide sample of Brazilian adults. Methods Data from the B...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Researchers have increasingly focused on the mental health of elite athletes. However, there remains a paucity of research on the mental health of elite Canadian athletes, and the prevalence of mental disorders among this population is unknown. Purpose This study evaluated the prevalence of symptoms of mental health disorders, specifi...
Presentation
Full-text available
Abstract: The mental health (MH) of elite Canadian athletes is understudied, yet a prospective understanding of athletes’ MH could inform periodized interventions designed to target athlete MH at different times in a competitive season. The purpose of this project was to identify the prevalence of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and eating disorde...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitively engaging physical activity (PA) has been suggested to have superior effects on cognition compared to PA with low cognitive demands; however, there have been few studies directly comparing these different types of activities. The aim of this study is to compare the cognitive effects of a combined physically and cognitively engaging bout...
Article
Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) have poorer fitness and greater internalizing/externalizing problems compared to typically developing (TD) children. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential mediating role of internalizing/externalizing problems on the relationship between children at risk for DCD (DCDr) and phy...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Physical activity (PA) interventions are limited in number and reach for youth with physical disabilities (YPD) who experience systemic barriers that may preclude their in-person participation. Further, a lack of theory in the development and evaluation of PA interventions impedes our understanding and replication of active components o...
Article
Full-text available
Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is often comorbid with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While children with DCD engage in less moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) compared to typically developing (TD) children, research pertaining to how ADHD affects this relationship is limited. We investigated the effect of ADH...
Article
Objective: To examine the differences in experiences of stress, emotional well-being, and physical activity among international and domestic students. Participants: Domestic (n = 4,035) and international (n = 605) students at a large Canadian university. Methods: Responses to items on stress, emotional well-being (happiness and satisfaction with li...
Article
Full-text available
Joined-up governance (JUG) approaches have gained attention as mechanisms for tackling wicked policy problems, particularly in intersectoral areas such as child health, where multiple ministries that deliver health and social services must collaborate if they are to be effective. Growing attention to the need to invest in early childhood to improve...
Article
Purpose The purpose of the present study was to conduct the first longitudinal investigation using accelerometers to assess physical activity behavior change during individuals' acute transition out of high school. Methods Participants in the current investigation were a part of a prospective cohort study called the MovingU Study. Participants wer...
Preprint
Recent work has demonstrated the collective impact of daily movement behaviours on mental health outcomes, however, positive aspects of mental health have received much less attention. The purpose of this study was to identify unique adolescent movement behaviour profiles and determine whether profile membership is associated with differences in me...
Article
Background and purpose Young children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) are more likely to experience internalizing problems, such as depression and anxiety, than typically developing (TD) children. Currently, the underlying mechanisms resulting in increased internalizing problems in DCD remains unknown; however, a previous study based...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The purpose of this research is to examine whether perceived fundamental movement skills (FMS) competence mediated the relationship between actual FMS and physical activity (PA) in Hong Kong preschool-aged children. Design: A cross-sectional study. Methods: 148 preschool-aged children (43% girls; mean age = 4.52 ± 0.67 years) from...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: About 20-26% of children and youth with a mental health disorder (depending on age and respondent) report receiving services from a community-based Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) agency. However, because agencies have an upper age limit of 18-years old, youth requiring ongoing mental health services must "transition" to adult-orie...
Article
Full-text available
Recent work has demonstrated the collective impact of daily movement behaviours on mental health outcomes, however, positive aspects of mental health have received much less attention. The purpose of this study was to identify unique adolescent movement behaviour profiles and determine whether profile membership is associated with differences in me...
Article
Accurate time perception is crucial for hearing (speech, music) and action (walking, catching). Motor brain regions are recruited during auditory time perception. Therefore, the hypothesis was tested that children (age 6-7) at risk for developmental coordination disorder (rDCD), a neurodevelopmental disorder involving motor difficulties, would show...
Article
Background: The construct of physical literacy is gaining traction internationally and yet measurement of physical literacy is in its infancy. This paper describes the development of a pictorial child report scale of perceived physical literacy based on the comprehensive Australian Physical Literacy Framework, which includes 30 elements within four...
Article
Full-text available
PLAYself is a tool designed for self-description of physical literacy in children and youth. We examined the tool using both the Rasch model and Classical Test Theory to explore its psychometric properties. A random selection of 300 children aged 8–14 years (47.3% female) from a dataset of 8513 Canadian children were involved in the Rasch analysis....
Article
Full-text available
An association among adults between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and arterial stiffness and between arterial stiffness and cardiovascular disease has been established. Recent cross-sectional evidence suggests that ACEs is linked to the development and progression of arterial stiffness, but it remains unclear when these changes begin to mani...
Article
The Physical Literacy Assessment for Youth (PLAY) Tools are a suite of tools to assess an individual’s physical literacy. The purpose of this study is to examine the psychometric properties of the PLAY Tools, including inter-rater reliability, internal consistency, validity and the associations between the tools. In this study, 218 children and you...
Article
Full-text available
Movement behaviour guideline adherence has been associated with lower depressive symptoms during adolescence, yet no studies have used person-centered approaches to examine this relationship. The purpose of the present study was to identify whether unique adolescent movement behaviour profiles exist, evaluate predictors of profile membership, and d...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Emerging research within school settings suggests acute forms of physical activity and exercise lead to improvements in executive functioning among children. However, research pertaining to these effects within the afterschool setting remains limited. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effects of a community-b...
Article
This study examined the effects of perceptions of motor abilities on aerobic and musculoskeletal exercise performance in young children at risk for developmental coordination disorder (rDCD). The participants (N = 539) were part of a larger cohort study, the Coordination and Activity Tracking in Children (CATCH) study. The Movement Assessment Batte...
Article
This introductory article explores the concept of physical literacy. It begins by discussing the current defining aspects of physical literacy and provides a pragmatic solution for moving beyond definitions to actions. The article also articulates how this special issue on physical literacy is addressing a range of United Nations agenda initiatives...
Article
While numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of physical activity on cognitive health, learning, and executive function, maintaining physical activity throughout one’s life lies with the acquisition of physical literacy. This article examines how the process of cognitive learning attributed to physical literacy can be understood in light of...
Article
Full-text available
It has been theorized that physical literacy is associated with physical activity and health. The purpose of this study is to investigate the associations between physical literacy and health, and if this relationship is mediated by moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Two hundred and twenty-two children (113 girls, 10.7 ± 1.0 years old)...
Article
Full-text available
The 2014 Sochi Winter Games were the last Winter Olympics where NHL players were allowed to compete. One explanation for prohibiting NHL players from participating in the Winter Olympics is a perceived negative impact on their performance post-Olympics, owing to the additional fatigue of participating. The purpose of this study was to explore wheth...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Children and youth are facing three major challenges: (1) poor mental health, (2) physical inactivity, and (3) lack of school readiness. Fundamental movement skills (FMS) and social-emotional learning (SEL) are two developmental domains that are associated with each of these challenges. Currently, there is little focus on interventions...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this communication is to highlight synergies and opportunities between the fields of education, sport and health and the performing arts for the promotion of physical literacy. First, physical literacy is introduced and then defined according to the definition used in this communication. Secondly, we highlight the gap in physical literac...
Article
Full-text available
A gap in physical literacy (PL) oriented professional development (PD) for generalist teachers exists and thus their capacity to develop PL and maximize student health is potentially limited. We explored the feasibility of a novel job-embedded professional development (JEPD) program (10 weeks) and its impact on teachers’ capacity to deliver PL-enri...
Article
By using children with developmental coordination disorder as a case study, the current study examines how several core domains of physical literacy interact and change over time in relation to enjoyment of physical education. Data from 2278 children (5% identified as probable development coordination disorder) were collected across six time points...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience significant challenges in executive functioning. Emerging evidence suggests exercise may improve executive functioning among children; however, these effects and their mechanisms have not been fully explored among children with ASD. The purpose of this study was to explore the acute...
Article
Full-text available
Little research has investigated the relationships among motor coordination, perceived physical self-concept (PSC), and physical activity during emerging adulthood. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether PSC mediates the relationship between motor coordination and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in emerging adults. This...
Article
Objectives: To examine if the associations between motor competence and physical activity and musculoskeletal fitness change over time, whether motor competence is associated with longitudinal trajectories of physical activity and fitness and to examine mediating pathways among these constructs across early childhood. Methods: Four hundred and e...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Despite physical literacy receiving increased attention as a potential gateway to physical activity participation, research establishing the link between physical literacy as a higher-order latent construct and physical activity is scant. The purpose of this study was to identify physical literacy profiles of children, and in turn, wheth...
Article
Objectives To evaluate factors associated with uptake of a financial incentive for developmental screening at an enhanced 18-month well-child visit (EWCV) in Ontario, Canada. Study design Population-based cohort study using linked administrative data of children (17-24 months of age) eligible for EWCV between 2009 and 2017. Logistic regression mod...
Article
Full-text available
Children (N = 90) from eight afterschool programs (n = 4 experimental sites with 47 children; n = 4 control sites with 43 children), along with the program leaders (N = 7) from the experimental sites, participated in a 12-week physical literacy intervention. Children were assessed on their physical literacy (movement competence, affect, confidence,...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The objective of the present study was to develop and test the validity of the Early Years Check-In (EYCI), a new tool that measures parent and educator concerns regarding children's development. The study examined the EYCI's agreement with 3rd edition of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (BSID-III) an established meas...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The overarching objective of the study is to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the salient factors predicting changes in physical activity (PA) during adolescents' transition into emerging adulthood. Using the Multi-Process Action Control model as our guiding framework, we will examine how implicit and explicit psychological proc...
Article
Introduction Children with motor coordination problems are at increased risk for both sedentary behaviour and internalizing problems relative to their typically developing peers; however, the relationship between motor coordination, internalizing problems, and sedentary behaviour is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to examine the...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to examine the moderating role of adaptive behavior on the pathways connecting motor competence, physical activity, and health-related fitness in 7–12 year old children with ASD (N = 27). Results demonstrate that motor competence and health-related fitness were positively related (r = .42, p < .05), and this relationsh...
Article
Objectives: Surveys can inform important health care questions. However, should decision makers believe strong conclusions that authors of surveys report? Objectives of this systematic survey of surveys are to describe the characteristics and conduct of surveys and investigate the association of the conduct with the conclusions. Study design and...
Article
Aim: Given the fragmentation of mental health and addictions (MHA) services for children and youth, comprehensive data on utilisation patterns are lacking. We sought to describe MHA-related service use across the community, acute and outpatient sectors. Methods: We used linked health-administrative data sets to identify a cohort of individuals a...