ArticlePDF Available

The relationship between physical activity and self-image and problem behavior among adolescents

  • International Centre for the Study of Occupational and Mental Health

Abstract and Figures

Although there are a vast array of studies which have demonstrated the psychological and physical health benefits of regular aerobic exercise for adults, few studies have focussed on children and adolescents. The current study examined associations between the extent of participation in endurance sport, and self-report data on self-image, physical and psychological health and overall lifestyle in a large representative sample of German high-school students. Almost 1000 German adolescents (aged 14-18 years) were administered a comprehensive series of questionnaires aimed at assessing anxiety-depression, trait addiction, smoking and drinking behaviour, physical ill-health reports, and self-perception of self-image, parental acceptance and educational attainment. Regular practice of endurance exercise was related to a more favourable self-image. There was a strong association between participation in sports and the type of personality that tends to be resistant to drug and alcohol addiction. Physical exercise was further significantly related to scores for physical and psychological well-being. Adolescents who engaged regularly in physical activity were characterised by lower anxiety-depression scores, and displayed much less social behavioural inhibition than their less active counterparts. It is likely that discussion of recreational or exercise involvement may provide a useful point of entry for facilitating dialogue among adolescents about concerns relating to body image and self-esteem. In terms of psychotherapeutic applications, physical activity has many additional rewards for adolescents. It is probable that by promoting physical fitness, increased physical performance, lessening body mass and promoting a more favourable body shape and structure, exercise will provide more positive social feedback and recognition from peer groups, and this will subsequently lead to improvement in an individual's self-image.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (2002) 37:544550 DOI 10.1007/s00127-002-0554-7
Abstract Background Although there are a vast array
of studies which have demonstrated the psychological
and physical health benefits of regular aerobic exercise
for adults, few studies have focussed on children and
adolescents. The current study examined associations
between the extent of participation in endurance sport,
and self-report data on self-image,physical and psycho-
logical health and overall lifestyle in a large representa-
tive sample of German high-school students.Method Al-
most 1000 German adolescents (aged 14–18 years) were
administered a comprehensive series of questionnaires
aimed at assessing anxiety-depression, trait addiction,
smoking and drinking behaviour, physical ill-health re-
ports, and self-perception of self-image, parental accep-
tance and educational attainment. Results Regular prac-
tice of endurance exercise was related to a more
favourable self-image. There was a strong association
between participation in sports and the type of person-
ality that tends to be resistant to drug and alcohol ad-
diction. Physical exercise was further significantly re-
lated to scores for physical and psychological
well-being.Adolescents who engaged regularly in phys-
ical activity were characterised by lower anxiety-de-
pression scores, and displayed much less social behav-
ioural inhibition than their less active counterparts.
Conclusion It is likely that discussion of recreational or
exercise involvement may provide a useful point of en-
try for facilitating dialogue among adolescents about
concerns relating to body image and self-esteem. In
terms of psychotherapeutic applications,physical activ-
ity has many additional rewards for adolescents. It is
probable that by promoting physical fitness, increased
physical performance, lessening body mass and pro-
moting a more favourable body shape and structure,ex-
ercise will provide more positive social feedback and
recognition from peer groups, and this will subse-
quently lead to improvement in an individual’s self-im-
Key words adolescence – physical activity self-im-
age – physical health – psychological well-being – social
problems – anxiety-depression
In a comprehensive review of the literature exploring
the advantages of regular physical activity [1] it has been
asserted that “among a long list of postulated psycho-
logical benefits, we note positive shifts of mood state
and perceived health, an increased sense of self-suffi-
ciency, greater personal adjustment,enhanced body im-
age, and impaired self-concept. Cognitive and percep-
tual processing is said to be facilitated,type A behaviour
is reduced, stress management skills are improved, and
overall psychological performance is bolstered.Exercise
has further been recommended as a tool in the therapy
of frank psychiatric ailments,including chronic depres-
sion and anxiety states”.
Unfortunately, the majority of these studies have
tended to focus on adult populations, with a disregard
for children and adolescents. There has been little at-
tempt to attest to whether adolescents who exercise
more regularly really display superior self-image, edu-
cational attainment, enhanced interpersonal relations,
B. D. Kirkcaldy · R. J.Shephard · R. G.Siefen
The relationship between physical activity and self-image
and problem behaviour among adolescents
Accepted: 28 February 2002
SPPE 554
Bruce Kirkcaldy, PhD ()
International Center for the Study of Occupational
and Mental Health
Haydnstr. 61
40593 Duesseldorf, Germany
Tel.: +49-211/7 1842 20
Fax: +49-2 11/7 18 5133
R. J. Shephard, MD
Faculty of Physical Education and Health
Dept. of Public Health Sciences
Faculty of Medicine
University of Toronto
R. G. Siefen,MD
Westfalia Clinic for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
and Psychosomatic
Marl-Sinsen, Germany
physical and psychological health when compared to
their less active counterparts.
Some studies have demonstrated that participation
in school sports programmes can have a positive imme-
diate effect upon self-image during the adolescent years,
particularly if the chosen activity is some form of team
sport such as American football,soccer, handball or vol-
leyball with a high profile among the peer group [2].The
effects of such adulation and social status may be rein-
forced by socially-accepted changes in body build – in-
creases in muscularity (particularly in boys) and reduc-
tions in surplus body fat (particularly in girls) [3].
Conversely, there may be a substantial negative impact
on self-image among the majority of students who (be-
cause of an unfavourable body build, or other interests)
do not gain a celebrityposition on the school team [4].
In this connection, perceived self-confidence and self-
efficacy have greater influence than actual physical com-
petence [5].
Field [6] examined the exercise habits of adolescents,
as well as relationship with peers and parents,depressive
tendencies, drug use and educational attainment. Indi-
viduals who exercised more reported better relation-
ships with parents (greater quality, increased touching
and intimacy),less depression,less frequent use of drugs
and higher class average performance grades than the
less physical active individuals. It has been suggested
that since substance abuse (a major problem among
young adolescents) occurs during leisure time, involve-
ment in physical activity may serve as a healthy substi-
tute allowing time-out and serving to enhance sense of
accomplishment and self-esteem [7].
In an extensive review [8] of the literature on leisure
and adolescence it was reported that over 90% of the 13-
to 14-year-olds participate in weekly sport,but this level
falls to 67 % for males and 49 % for females some 6 years
later. Competitive sport and group physical pursuits be-
come replaced by regular physical exercise in the form
of swimming, jogging, aerobics or walking. Girls have
been shown to drop out quickly, especially among com-
petitive sports, presumably because of concern about
bodily changes. More recent statistics published by the
US Surgeon General [9] suggest that only about one-half
of young American people aged 12–21 years participate
in vigorous physical activity regularly, and one fourth
report no involvement in vigorous activity. Only 19% of
high-school students reported being physically active
for 20 min or more per day in physical education classes.
Moreover,physical activity declines sharply during ado-
Much of the analysis to date has focussed on young
adults, and although endurance exercise is much more
likely to have a positive impact upon long-term health,
the impact of such activity upon self-image has received
less attention.It seems likely that if the chosen pattern of
physical activity has a favourable effect upon self-image,
the student will be less likely to become involved in ad-
verse lifestyles (smoking, drinking alcohol and abuse of
drugs), but again there has been little experimental ex-
ploration of this issue. Accordingly, we have examined
associations between the extent of participation in en-
durance sport, self-image, physical and psychological
health and overall lifestyle in a substantial sample of
German high-school students.
We postulated a positive association between en-
gagement in regular physical exercise and health, and
from this viewpoint we formulated five sub-hypotheses:
H1 Young adolescents who engage in regular sporting
activities will display a more favourable self-image
than their sedentary counterparts;
H2 Physically active adolescents will exhibit less nega-
tive affect, in terms of anxiety and depression, than
more sedentary individuals;
H3 Physical ailments will be less prevalent in the exer-
cising than in the sedentary group, and this will be
most apparent on those somatic scales related to
physical exhaustion and tiredness (emotionality);
H4 Individuals who report frequent problems in their
social interactions with others are likely to be
H5 Relative to their sedentary peers, adolescents who
engage in regular forms of exercise will display
lower addiction scores and be less likely to smoke,
to consume alcohol or to take illicit drugs.
Subjects and methods
Subjects and experimental plan
Data were collected from nine of the ten secondary schools in the
Marl area of West Germany, a semi-rural region in the northern,
Protestant part of Germany. The geographical region is typical of
middle-sized urban communities in the Rhine-Ruhr industrial area.
The sample included pupils from both technical schools, three sec-
ondary schools, two comprehensive schools, and two of three gram-
mar schools.The directors of the schools were informed about the na-
ture, aims and procedures of the assessment programme, which was
conducted in accordance with a protocol reviewed by the institutional
committee on human experimentation. In addition to the main sur-
vey, written material in the form of letters and survey descriptions
was mailed to parents and teachers.Tests were administered between
21.02.2000 and 09.062000, and were limited to pupils in the 9
grades. Four trained university students were involved in con-
ducting the questionnaire sessions. Two hours were allowed for “ex-
planation and delivery of test instruments”, but in practice the time
required to complete the questionnaires varied from 30 to 65 min.The
response rate represented 63.4% of pupils of that class group in the
schools sampled.
Students ranged in age from 14 to 18 years (Table 1), with a mean
age (SD) of 15.6 years [0.8]. The total sample of 988 adolescents in-
cluded an approximately equal proportion of boys and girls (47.2 and
52.8%,respectively).About half of the students were attending either
a technical or a grammar school, and the remainder a secondary or
comprehensive school. The typical one-way distance from the stu-
dents homes to their respective schools was 3–6 km, travel being by
bus, or more frequently by the parents car.
The questionnaires, which were written in the German language,
explored socio-demographic variables (gender,age,nationality,num-
ber of siblings and educational status); family variables (e.g. self-im-
age); mental well-being (problems of introversion and anxiety/de-
pression); physical health (exhaustion, gastric disorders, limb pains,
circulatory problems and colds”) and a personality construct of ad-
Assessment of involvement in endurance sport
Involvement in endurance sport was assessed by a simple question-
naire developed by the authors (note that in Europe, the term sport
covers all types of physical activity,rather than simply involvement in
team sports such as soccer).Students are asked about their degree of
regular, continuous involvement in general recreational activities
(running, swimming and cycling). Ratings were in step-wise, gradu-
ated increments (never, seldom, often, always).
Physical health
Physical health was assessed by the Giessen Subjective Complaints
List [10, 11]. This instrument comprises 59 items relating to physical
ailments.Each item is rated on a 1–5 Likert scale (never,rarely, some-
times, often and always).The inventory includes items from the areas
of general well-being, autonomic complaints, bodily pains, emotion-
ality and common childhood problems. Factor analysis has previ-
ously revealed a five-factor solution of “ailments”, with seven items
loading on each of the following areas: exhaustion, gastric com-
plaints, pains in the limbs, circulatory problems and symptoms of
colds”. By aggregating scores across all items, a global measure of
physical discomfort/distress is derived (alpha coefficient 0.938).
Personality: “addiction”
Liability to the development of a drug dependency was assessed us-
ing the addiction scale of Gossop and Eysenck [12]. This inventory
contains 32 constituent items taken from the EPQ (Eysenck Personal-
ity Questionnaire) [13].It is able to distinguish between normal males
and male drug-dependent individuals at the probability level of 0.001.
The majority of these same items were also effective in discriminat-
ing female addicts from a control group of non-addicts. The score is
essentially a conglomerate of introversion,neuroticism and psychoti-
cism, and its internal reliability is satisfactory (alpha= 0.76). This
measure showed a consistent significant positive association with
adolescents self-report of drug abuse.
Psychological health (social problems and anxiety-depression)
The German version of the Achenbach Child Behaviour Checklist
[14] was used to assess problem social behaviour and anxiety/de-
pression. For this purpose, two of the eight YSR [13] scales were
scored on a 3-point scale (“0”not applicable,“1” occasionally and “2”
frequently): social problems (8 items) “anxiety/depression (16
items relating to introversion, perfectionism, guilt-proneness, anxi-
ety,emotionality,etc.).Alpha coefficients were 0.69 (social problems)
and 0.85 (anxiety-depressive), respectively.
Social and educational attitudes
In addition to the standardised questionnaires (addiction scale of the
EPQ; Achenbachs Child Behaviour Checklist – subscales social prob-
lems, and anxiety-depression, Giessen Subjective Complaints List for
Children and Adolescents), an attempt was made to extract relevant
data concerning social and school life. Eighteen items were included:
school grades in German language, history or politics, mathematics,
natural sciences and foreign languages; number of times school was
changed, or a school year was repeated; self-image (reported level of
self-satisfaction, number of friends, self-rejection and self-impor-
tance); family relationships (parental expectations, parental conflict,
maternal acceptance, paternal acceptance). This section was con-
structed in a nationwide survey among German adolescents to mon-
itor more transient changes in the social-educational domain. The
psychometric properties of this section of the questionnaire are dis-
cussed in detail in Kirkcaldy, Siefen, Surall and Bischoff [15]. The
scales had demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency and related
in a meaningful way to other psychological constructs.
Self-reported use of drugs
The self-reported level of drug usage (smoking cigarettes, drinking
beer [the main alcoholic beverage in this part of Germany] and using
cannabis) was assessed by asking “Have you ever tried the following?”
Possible responses were never” 1; only tried” 2,“yes, occasional us-
age 3, and “yes, regular use 4.
Statistical methods
All univariate and multivariate statistical analyses (linear discrimi-
nant analysis and ANOVA) were computed using SPSS 10 (2001).Male
and female subjects indicated closely comparable exercise participa-
tion (“never”males 10.3%, females 11.2%; “seldom males 34.2%,fe-
males 42.6%; “often males 31.5% females 29.2%; “frequently”males
23.9%, females 17%, chi-squared (3) = 10.98, p <0.05). In all initial
analyses we examined the impact of the main terms gender and exer-
cise separately, and then the interactive term gender x exercise for the
first set of variables (personality, parental attitudes and health out-
come).There was no evidence of a statistically significant interaction
for the first set (Pillai’s trace =0.049, F [30,2136] =1.19, p >0.05), nor
indeed for the physical ailment profiles (Pillai’s trace=0.013, F [15,
2634] =0.75, p > 0.05). Subsequent covariate analysis controlled for
potentially confounding effects of gender and,if anything, the effects
attributed to exercise were accentuated in consequence. Hence, we
concluded that overall gender did not confound the effects attributed
to exercise per se.Thus,for ease of exposition,we decided to focus on
between-exercise group differences.
Associations between various levels of participation in endurance
sport and the other variables have been tested by a series of discrim-
inant analyses. Where significant differences have been demon-
strated, these have been explored post-hoc, using the least significant
difference method.Linear discriminant analysis was conducted in or-
der to examine all personality and attitudinal variables simultane-
ously; this method possesses distinct advantages over the classical
univariate procedure of profile analysis in the event of non-orthogo-
nality of scales. It minimises the likelihood of making a type 1 error
by adjoining multiple measures as a single cluster,thus taking into ac-
count interrelationships between dimensions,individual subject vari-
ance around the group means on the profile elements and group vari-
ability on the individual variables [16].
Participation in endurance sports
One section of the questionnaire focussed on whether
the subject engaged in endurance sports and, if so, to
what extent. Overall, 10.7% (n = 106) of the students re-
ported “never”undertaking endurance/aerobic sporting
activities, 38.6% (n=381) reported seldom”, about
one-third 30.3% (n= 299) often and the final 20.2%
(n= 202) “frequently”.
Table 1 Socio-demographic variables
Male 477 48.3%
Female 511 51.7%
14–15 years 449 45.4%
16–18 539 54.6%
Educational status
Secondary school 213 21.5%
Comprehensive 257 26.0%
Technical-grammar 348 35.2%
Grammar 171 17.3%
For subsequent analyses, the figures vary depending
on the number of respondents to a particular groups of
Personality, parental attitudes, physical
and psychological health
A between-group linear discriminant analysis was next
applied to the reported levels of participation in en-
durance sport (Table 2).The first canonical variate [1–3]
was statistically significant (eigenvalue=0.905, chi-
squared [30] = 72.12, Rc =0.242, p <0.001), as was the
second variate (eigenvalue= 0.961, chi-squared [18] =
28.65, p < 0.06, Rc= 0.155). Overall, the profiles differed
between groups (Pillai’s trace = 0.074, [15, 2163]= 3.652,
p <0.001).
For those F-tests which were statistically significant,
we have presented the figures for the highest scoring
group in bold, and the lowest scoring group is shown in
italics (e.g. overall physical symptoms were reported
most frequently among the group of adolescents who
reported “never” being involved in endurance sports)
(Table 3). On all scales associated with personality and
self-perceptions, individuals with differing degrees of
involvement in endurance/aerobic sports revealed quite
distinct differences (Table 3). For example, although no
difference in reported physical ailments was observed
between the two sets of extreme groups (“never” vs.
seldom exercising, or often vs. “regularly” exercis-
ing), differences were observed when comparing the
“low” and “high activity groups,with the less active in-
dividuals reporting significantly more physical com-
Physical ailments
The next stage of the analysis examined associations be-
tween participation in endurance sport and subclasses
of physical ailments (Tables 4 and 5). The between-
groups physical ailment profiles were compared using
multivariate statistical analysis.The groups differed sig-
nificantly in their respective profiles of reported physi-
cal illnesses (Pillai’s trace=0.056, F [15, 2646]=3.37, p
Table 2 Relationships between participation in endurance sport, self-image and problem behaviour. Significance of relationships is tested by discriminant analysis (see
Group category 1 (n = 80) 2 (n = 286) 3 (n = 218) 4 (n = 143)
Never Seldom Often Frequently F (3,723)
Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD
Self-image 5.10 2.92 5.07 2.81 5.76 2.82 6.25 2.84 6.68***
Paternal acceptance 5.30 2.96 5.29 2.89 5.85 2.99 5.55 2.74 1.72
Mathematical competency 5.06 2.99 5.53 2.76 5.59 2.69 6.06 2.92 2.31
Educational threat 5.90 3.12 5.36 2.91 5.52 2.83 5.45 2.76 0.75
Maternal rejection 5.28 3.11 5.64 2.76 5.36 2.91 5.62 2.83 0.63
Linguistic competency 4.94 3.06 5.37 2.87 5.91 2.77 5.53 2.94 2.67*
Addiction 12.36 4.83 11.02 4.51 9.69 4.57 9.62 5.04 5.40***
Physical well-being
Physical illness 121.34 27.13 120.86 25.94 113.58 25.36 112.53 27.67 5.09**
Psychological well-being
Anxiety-depression 23.09 5.31 23.09 5.78 22.30 5.26 21.05 4.56 2.95*
Social problems 10.25 2.57 9.70 1.99 9.59 2.08 9.43 1.75 9.29***
* p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01; *** p < 0.001
Table 3 A post-hoc comparison of scores on the various personality scales between specific groups, classified in terms of their participation in endurance sport (Least Sig-
nificant Difference Method)
Never/seldom Never/often Never/frequently Seldom/often Seldom/frequently Often/frequently
1–2 1–3 1–4 2–3 2–4 3–4
Addiction 0.05* 0.001*** 0.001*** 0.01** 0.01** n. s.
Self-image n. s. n. s. 0.01** 0.01** 0.001*** n. s.
Ailments n. s. 0.05* 0.05* 0.01** 0.01** n. s.
Anxiety-depression n. s. n. s. 0.001*** n. s. 0.001*** 0.05*
Social problems 0.05* 0.05* 0.001*** 0.05* n. s. n. s.
* p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01; *** p < 0.001
Smoking, drinking and drug usage
The final stage of statistical analysis focussed on self-re-
ports of drug and alcohol consumption (Table 6); we se-
lected categories of usage which are common among
German adolescents.Overall,the groups differed signif-
icantly in drug and alcohol usage (eigenvalue= 0.961, F
[9,2373]= 4.35,p <0.001***).Adolescents who were reg-
ularly involved in endurance sport also reported a sig-
nificantly lower usage of cigarettes. There was no main
effect associating “sport”and drinking beer.Conversely,
cannabis use was significantly more frequent among
those adolescents who “never” engaged in endurance
The present study shows substantial associations be-
tween the regular practice of endurance sport and atti-
tudes, personality, scores for physical and psychological
well-being and the adoption of a healthy lifestyle. Nev-
ertheless, causality should not be inferred from a cross-
sectional survey of this type. It could be that a poor self-
image or impaired physical or psychological health is a
cause of physical inactivity rather than the converse, or
it could be that a favourable home environment gives
parental encouragement of physical activity, together
with a good self-image, physical and psychological
health and avoidance of drug usage.Proof of a causal re-
lationship will require further research using either a
sophisticated path analysis,or a trial where a proportion
of the students in randomly selected classes is per-
suaded to adopt an increased level of endurance sport.
As regards the mechanisms, it may be that the social
aspects of physical activity among adolescents are im-
portant determinants of mental and psychological
health. Vikjalmsson and Thorlindsson [17] found evi-
dence that those adolescents who were affiliated to a
sport’s club displayed lower anxiety and depression
scores compared to those pursuing individual sports.
They concluded that the social adhesive properties of
group (sport) participation may have been the key in-
gredients contributing to psychological well-being,
rather than physical activity per se.
The association between sport participation and self-
image is substantial and highly significant statistically.
In the school context, involvement in endurance activi-
Table 4 Physical ailments and participation in endurance sport. Significance of relationships is tested by discriminant analysis (see text)
Group category 1 (n = 99) 2 (n = 344) 3 (n = 268) 4 (n = 178)
Never Seldom Often Frequently F (3,885)
Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD
Exhaustion 27.18 8.16 25.74 7.16 24.09 6.69 23.49 7.49 8.27***
Gastric complaints 14.01 4.17 14.51 4.12 13.78 3.93 13.27 4.56 3.80**
Pains in limbs 12.67 3.89 12.74 3.94 12.39 3.89 12.53 4.17 0.41
Circulatory problems 11.39 3.83 10.72 3.96 9.75 3.60 10.00 3.74 6.33***
Cold symptoms 18.36 4.83 18.88 5.00 17.59 4.59 17.23 4.56 6.56***
* p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01; *** p < 0.001
Table 5 A post-hoc comparison of scores for various ailments between specific groups, classified in terms of their participation in endurance sport (Least Significant Dif-
ference Method)
Never/seldom Never/often Never/frequently Seldom/often Seldom/frequently Often/frequently
1–2 1–3 1–4 2–3 2–4 3–4
Exhaustion n. s. 0.001*** 0.001*** 0.01** 0.001*** n. s.
Gastric complaints n. s. n. s. n. s. 0.05* 0.001*** n. s.
Pains in limbs n. s. n. s. n. s. n. s. n. s. n. s.
Circulatory problems n. s. 0.001*** 0.01** 0.01** 0.05* n. s.
Cold symptoms n. s. n. s. 0.06 0.001*** n. s. n. s.
* p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01; *** p < 0.001
Table 6 Relationships between participation in endurance sport, drinking and drug usage. Statistical analysis is as in Tables 2 and 3
Never 1 Seldom 2 Often 3 Regular 4 F 3,977 1/2 1/3 1/4 2/3 2/4 3/4
Smoke 2.95 2.95 2.88 2.56 5.37*** n. s. n. s. 0.01 n. s. 0.001 0.01
Beer 3.03 2.95 2.95 2.90 0.91 n. s. n. s. n. s. n. s. n. s. n. s.
Cannabis 2.02 1.64 1.59 1.58 6.58*** 0.001 0.001 0.001 n. s. n. s. n. s.
Note: post-hoc between group comparisons (“LSD”) are presented on the right-hand side of the table; *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001
ties rarely leads to the adulation that a leader of a soccer
or handball team might receive from members of the op-
posite sex. If physical activity is indeed playing a posi-
tive causal role,it may act by increasing feelings of mas-
tery and self-efficacy [18]. Previous investigators have
noted a positive effect of curricular physical education
upon academic performance [19].The link with linguis-
tic competency that was observed in the present study
could also indicate an underlying “high-achiever” per-
sonality. In the adult world, some companies seek out
people who are involved in endurance sport because
they tend to be employees with an outstanding perfor-
mance on the job [20].Alternatively,being verbally more
competent may reflect superior social and communica-
tion skills which may be beneficial in social sporting ac-
There is also a strong link between participation in
endurance sport and the type of personality that is re-
sistant to addictions. Surveys of the adult population
have found a relatively weak impact of physical activity
upon smoking habits, more obvious for those involved
in endurance than in “social” sports such as tennis [21].
Some people indicate that involvement in distance run-
ning is helpful in stopping smoking, but the low per-
centage of smokers among this population also reflects
many individuals who stopped smoking before they be-
gan running [22]. Several studies suggest that individu-
als with heavy involvement in physical activity were less
likely to take up smoking than the sedentary members
of this population [23, 24, 25].
Hays [26] referred to Glasser’s [27] research distin-
guishing between positive and negative addiction. She
suggested that in contrast to negative, self-debilitating
addictions such as substance abuse, the positive addic-
tion to regular exercise such as swimming or running
may serve as a replacement or distraction from smoking
or alcohol abuse,strengthening an individual’s self-effi-
cacy and enhancing their life satisfaction.
Finally, there are strong relationships between en-
durance activity and reported scores for physical and
psychological well-being. The most significant physical
complaint of sedentary individuals is exhaustion, and
this could be either a consequence of a poor level of fit-
ness (so that they have difficulty in keeping up with their
fitter peers), or it could be the cause of the inactivity.
Given that the analysis is based upon self-reports,a final
possibility is that the more anxious members of the
group engaged in symptom-reporting to a greater extent
than did their more active peers [26, 28]. In regard to
symptoms of the common cold,there has been much in-
terest recently concerning possible effects of endurance
exercise upon immune function [28]. The current con-
sensus is that moderate participation in endurance ex-
ercise enhances the immune response, but that beyond
an individually determined critical threshold, en-
durance activity can have a deleterious effect. The
threshold for an adverse effect is generally quite high,
and is unlikely to be reached except by high perform-
ance athletes, so that a favourable effect of endurance
activity upon the prevalence of cold symptoms is to be
anticipated in ordinary school students.
Limitation of physical activity is a common manifes-
tation of depression; in this association, the psychologi-
cal disturbance may well be the primary manifestation,
and the limitation of physical activity the consequence.
Furthermore, one of the limitations of our measure of
physical health is that it does not ascertain the presence
of an actual chronic physical illness which may concei-
vably have restricted opportunities for exercising (esti-
mates suggest that 5–10% of children would fall into this
category). If such is the case, however, the associations
we reported will be attenuated (an underestimate of the
association between exercise-health).
The magnitude of effect sizes reveals that it was prob-
lems of self-perception and social adjustment (socially
avoidant temperament) and to a lesser extent the trend
to anxiety-depression and exhaustion which most dis-
tinguished adolescents who were physically inactive
from those who were (more or less) regularly in physi-
cal exercise.
As might be expected, parental attitudes and educa-
tional achievement did not appear to be associated with
proclivity towards physical activity.
The present data support the potential therapeutic
benefits of physical activity for children and adoles-
cents. In addition to enhanced physical health, Hayes
[27] has proposed that engagement in physical pursuits
or discussion of recreational or exercise involvement
may serve as a useful point of entry for facilitating dis-
cussion among adolescents about issues relating to body
image and self-esteem. In terms of psychotherapeutic
applications, physical activity has many further advan-
tages, particularly among children and adolescents. It is
likely that by enhancing physical fitness,increased phys-
ical performance,decreasing body mass and promoting
a more favourable body shape and structure, exercise
will provide more positive social feedback/recognition
from peer groups, and this in turn will improve an indi-
vidual’s self-image.The increased opportunity for social
interaction and group participation allows a challenging
of socially avoidant behavioural propensities and the
development of positive expectations. Regular involve-
ment in physical exercise reduces the risk of fatigue by
augmenting physiological functions such as maximal
oxygen transport and maximal muscle force that would
otherwise limit performance; a reduction of fatigue over
a normal day may in turn induce a positive change in
mood state. Finally, physical activity serves to distract
from depressive thoughts and self-debilitating cogni-
1. Kirkcaldy BD,Shephard RJ (1990) Therapeutic aspects of leisure
and sport. Special Edited Issue, International Journal of Sport
Psychology 21 (3): 165–184
2. Bluechardt MH, Wiener J, Shephard RJ (1995) Exercise pro-
grammes in the treatment of children with learning disabilities.
Sports Medicine 19: 55–72
3. Teasdale TW, Sorensen TIA,Stunkard AJ (1992) Intelligence and
educational level in relation to body mass index of adult males.
Human Biology 64: 99–106
4. Shephard RJ, Lavallée H, Larivière G (1978) Competitive selec-
tion among age-class ice-hockey players. British Journal of
Sports Medicine 12: 11–13
5. Ulrich BD (1987) Perceptions of physical competence, motor
competence,and participation in organized sport: their interre-
lationships in young children. Research Quarterly 58: 57–67
6. Field T (2001) Exercise is positively related to adolescents rela-
tionship and academics.Adolescence, Spring
7. Murphy TJ,Pagano RR,Marlatt GA (1986) Lifestyle modification
with heavy alcohol drinkers: effects of aerobic exercise and med-
itation.Addictive Behaviors 11: 175–186
8. Argyle M (1996) The Social Psychology of Leisure.Penguin,Lon-
9. US Surgeon General (2001) Physical activity and health.Chap.5.
Patterns and trends in physical activity. US Health,Washington
10. Brähler E, Scheer J (1983) Der Giessener Beschwerdebogen
(GBB) – Testhandbuch. Huber, Bern, Stuttgart and Vienna
11. Prehler M,Kupfer J,Brähler E (1992) Der Giessener Beschwerde-
bogen für Kinder und Jugendliche (GBB-KJ). Psychsom Med
Psychol 42: 71–77
12. Gossop MR,Eysenck SBG (1980) A further investigation into the
personality of drug addicts in treatment. British Journal of Ad-
diction 75: 305–311
13. Eysenck HJ,Eysenck SBG (1991) Manual of the Eysenck Person-
ality Scales. Hodder and Stoughton, London
14. Achenbach TM (1991) Deutsche Child Behaviour Checklist.
KJFD (Arbeitsgruppe Kinder-, Jugendlichen- und Familiendia-
gnostik), Cologne
15. Kirkcaldy BD, Siefen G,Surall D,Bischoff RJ (2002) Predictors of
drug and alcohol abuse among children and adolescents. Per-
sonality and individual differences (revised)
16. Kroll W, Crenshaw W (1968) Multivariate personality profile
analysis of four athletic groups. In: Kenyon GS (ed) Proceedings
of the Second International Congress of Sport Psychology. Ath-
letic Institute, Chicago
17. Vijhalmsson R,Thorlindsson T (1992) The integrative and phys-
iological effects of sport participation: a study of adolescents.
Sociol Quart 33: 637–647
18. Bandura A (1997) Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory for be-
havioural change. Psychol Rev 84: 191–215
19. Shephard RJ (1997) Curricular physical activity and academic
performance. Pediatr Exerc Sci 9: 113–126
20. Baun WB, Bernacki EJ, Tsai SP (1986) A preliminary investiga-
tion of the effect of a corporate fitness program on absenteeism
and health care cost.Journal of Occupational Medicine 28:18–22
21. Norwegian Confederation of Sport (1983) Physical activity in
Norway. Norwegian Confederation of Sport, Oslo
22. Shephard RJ, Kavanagh T, Mertens DJ (1995) Personal health
benefits of athletic competition. British Journal of Sports Medi-
cine 29: 35–40
23. Twisk J, Kemper HCG, Snel J (1995) Tracking of cardiovascular
risk factors in relation to lifestyle. In: Kemper HCG (ed) The
Amsterdam Growth Study. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL,
pp. 203–224
24. Trudeau F,Laurencelle L,Tremblay J,Rajic M,Shephard RJ (1998)
A long-term follow-up of participants in the Trois Rivières semi-
longitudinal study of growth and development.Pediatr Exerc Sci
10: 366–377
25. Kirkcaldy BD, Cooper CL,Brown J,Athanasou J (1994) Job stress
and health profiles of smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers.
Stress Medicine 10 (3): 159–166
26. Hays K (1999) Working it out. Using exercise in psychotherapy.
American Psychological Asociation,Washington DC
27. Glasser W (1976) Positive addiction. Harper and Row, New York
28. Pennebacker J (1992) Stress in words: health,linguistic and ther-
apeutic applications.APA Paper,Washington DC
... Physical activity is also a very effective and suitable means of preventing mental illness and improving mental health [3][4][5][6]. When investigating the psychological effects of physical activity, positive effects on mood, psychological well-being, and the concept of self and body could be demonstrated [4,7]. ...
... also points out that more positive feedback regarding physical activity and social recognition leads to a better self-image [5]. This seems to be of particular importance, as people with mental disorders often feel, that they have insufficient athletic self-efficacy [24]. ...
Background: As part of an exploratory and hypothesis-generating study, the Sports Preference Questionnaire (SPOQ) was developed to survey the athletic behavior of mentally ill children and adolescents, subjectively assessing physical fitness and the perceived psychological effects of physical activity. Methods: In a department of child and adolescent psychiatry, 313 patients (6 years - 18 years) were classified according to their primary psychiatric diagnosis. The patients or - in the parental version of the questionnaire - their parents reported their sports preferences on the SPOQ. As possibly influential factors, also the frequency of physical activity, the importance of a trainer, coping with everyday life through physical activity, and subjectively perceived physical fitness were assessed. Results: One in 3 patients stated that they were not physically active. Patients diagnosed with eating disorders reported, on average, a notably high frequency and degree of coping with daily life through physical activity. Patients with anxiety disorders and depression had the lowest self-perception of physical fitness. The presence of a trainer was generally considered very unimportant, but not in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) patients. Conclusion: The SPOQ is sensitive to differential effects of core child and adolescent disorders as well as to main covariates influencing the complex association between physical activity and emotional and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents. Based on this pilot study, the need for an efficacy study to measure the effects of sports therapy was discussed.
... Asimismo, dada su importancia en el origen, la gestión y el cese de la AF, la IC es un componente importante en los dominios de la psicología del deporte y el ejercicio (Sabiston et al., 2019). Comprender la asociación entre la IC y la AF es fundamental para mejorar la experiencia de la AF así como promover y mantener las prácticas deportivas y de ejercicio en todos los grupos (Kirkcaldy et al., 2002). En relación con las capacidades y el crecimiento personal, se considera que la AF y la IC provocan bienestar psicológico, que se define como un estado de plenitud y realización psicológica (Valle Raleig et al., 2019). ...
Full-text available
La imagen corporal es un factor multidimensional importante en la adherencia a la actividad física, así como para el bienestar psicológico y social, sin embargo, generalmente no se le da la importancia que merece, especialmente después de la pandemia que se ha producido en los últimos años. Se presentó un cuestionario utilizando la herramienta Google Forms para conocer la opinión de los estudiantes universitarios sobre su manejo de la autopercepción de la imagen corporal. Se utilizó una estrategia de selección no probabilística basada en el muestreo por coexistencia para escoger a 288 estudiantes para el estudio. Se utilizó la prueba U de Mann-Whitney para determinar los vínculos entre los distintos ítems y dimensiones en función del género y la especialidad educativa, y la prueba Rho de Spearman para comprobar si existía relación entre la edad y el índice de masa corporal y sus respuestas en las distintas dimensiones. Los resultados mostraron que, a pesar de una aceptable percepción de su imagen corporativa por parte de la muestra analizada, existen diferencias de género y entre especialidades. Así, se puede concluir que las organizaciones públicas deberían desarrollar líneas de actuación para mejorar y mantener una buena percepción de la imagen corporal en esta población. Palabras clave: estudiantes universitarios, imagen corporal, género, especialidad educativa, edad, índice de masa corporal, salud. Abstract. Body image is an important multidimensional factor in adherence to physical activity as well as for psychological and social well-being, yet it is generally not given the importance it deserves, especially after the pandemic that has occurred in recent years. A questionnaire was presented using the Google Forms tool to find out what university students thought about its management of self-perception of body image. A non-probability selection strategy based on coexistence sampling was used to pick 288 students for the study. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to determine the links between the various items and dimensions according to sex and education specialty, and the Spearman's Rho test was used to see if there was a relationship between age and body mass index and their replies in the various dimensions. The results showed that despite an acceptable perception of their corporate image by the sample analyzed, there are gender and inter-specialty differences. Thus, it can be concluded that public organizations should develop lines of action to improve and maintain good body image perceptions in this population. Keywords: university students, body image, gender, educational specialty, age, body mass index, health.
... Recreation has been shown to flow through so many aspects of personal life (Li and Wang 2011), such as improving depression levels, building self-esteem and self-confidence (Kirkcaldy et al. 2002;Stinnett and Gibson 2016) increasing people's life satisfaction (Sugiyama and Ward-Thompson 2007;Sugiyama et al. 2009) time management (Driver 1997;Driver and Burns 1999), positive interpersonal relationship development between social groups and families (Ramsey and Smit 2002), improving school performance (Roddy et al. 2017), improving social interactions, refreshment of the senses, reduction of tension, anxiety and fostering personal growth (Fadamiro and Adedeji 2014). These benefits evolves physical, mental, and social health benefit which indicates that the individual fulfil the need for personal development while contributing to the satisfaction of the person's psychological needs for well-being and the development of their social behavior (Paksoy 2016). ...
Full-text available
This study is focused on the benefits of community park as a place of social interaction in Peyi community, Bwari Abuja. The study examined community parks and their environmental impact as it relates to social interaction. Community parks play a significant role in the society, they provide significant impact to their host communities by enhancing regional development. It boosts the economy, as well as the dynamics of social processes. A mix methods approach of qualitative and quantitative research was adopted for the study using questionnaire, interview guide and observation checklist. A sample size of 150 was considered, adopting the stratified random sampling technique. The result was analyzed using SPSS and the findings are presented in tables and charts. The findings of the study revealed there is a good interaction in Peyi Community Park between people from different social and cultural backgrounds hence the aim of social interaction in the community park was met but about 60% decry poor availability of basic amenities, inadequate spaces provided as well as lack of privacy and overall poor security Architecture in the park. The study concluded that it is necessary for Architects and other building professionals involved in community park designs to consider innovative ways of ensuring safety at night through the use of motion sensitive lighting systems and other passive measures, design consideration for end users and also design to accommodate anticipated population including provision of age appropriate facilities.
... Our study results are very similar study in Mexico (Nayheli, Villegas, Deygadillo, 2022). Lack of physicial activity is often associated with perception of overweight and obesity by students and other mental problems like anxiety (Kirkcaldy, 2002). Overweight and obesity among each seventh young respondents were found to have an health risks in our study, while in study in Iran perceived the same health problems one of five students (Mann, 2016). ...
Full-text available
Self-rated health is associated with health behaviour and socio-demographic and socioeconomic conditions on the way that health risks and poor socioeconomic status determine poor self-rated health. The aim of the study was to determine self-rated health among students, perceive health behaviour risk and association with socio-demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of students. Methods: Study is conducted as a cross-sectional study among students of health sciences in autumn semester 2022. Year. Specially designed questionnaire was constructed based on international guidelines. Anonymously filling out an on line formed questionnaire by voluntary singing on university web site. Results: More than three quarter of students perceived their health as a good and no one perceived health as a poor. Most students perceived their health as good (83,2%), mainly students with a technical background and those who are living in good socioeconomic conditions (89,0%) (p<0,05). The most frequent health risks among students are lack of physical activity (44,5%) and less than six hours for sleep and rest (43,8%). More than a third of students perceived fear, nervousness and tension (34,3%), a lack of time for friendship and family (33,6%) and irregular diet (31,4%). Every seventh student perceived overweight and obesity. Students who are living in poor socioeconomic conditions perceived more health risks as well as those who don't have medical background and who are employed. More students in urban area perceived mental problems than those in rural areas. Conclusion: Students are mainly perceived their health as a good and have health risks which will be reduced through health promotion in university educational programmes.
... Likewise, Wichstrøm and Wichstrøm [16] distinguished between the type of sport in terms of team sports (e.g., soccer, handball), individual sports (e.g., aerobics, horse riding), power sports (e.g., boxing, martial arts, weight lifting, gymnastics), endurance sports (e.g., running, skiing, speed skating), and technical sports (i.e., other sports), and they observed that the participation in team sports was positively associated with alcohol consumption and that participation in team sports and endurance sports was negatively associated with tobacco use. Kirckcaldy et al. [47] obtained the same results regarding regular involvement in endurance sports and the usage of cigarettes. ...
Full-text available
This article proposes a new approach to understand substance use among adolescent athletes. Thus, this article describes an investigation of the likelihood of alcohol and tobacco use in adolescent athletes considering the type of sport, age, gender, and their action tendencies. A total of 552 athletes with an age range of 12–16 years were engaged in medium–high-contact sports (n = 291) and non-contact sports (n = 261). They completed the Children’s Action Tendency Scale, the Sport Children’s Action Tendency Scale, and the Personal and Social Responsibility Questionnaire. The results showed that 16-year-old athletes were the most likely to drink alcohol and to smoke tobacco (p < 0.001). Likewise, it was found that practicing a medium–high-contact sport was a risk factor for alcohol and tobacco use (p < 0.01). The more aggressive athletes were more likely to have smoked tobacco during the last month (p = 0.019) and also to drink more alcohol that the less aggressive ones (p < 0.001). Finally, the athletes who showed more submissiveness were less likely to have drunk alcohol in the last year and the last month (p < 0.001). These findings show the predictive value of new factors associated with alcohol and tobacco use among adolescent athletes. Preventive measures should be targeted, since a new link between the action tendencies in sport and substance use has been found.
... Interference and disturbance to normal activities can affect adolescents' identity development [38] which contributes to the important theme around activity that emerged in this synthesis. The themes around self-image and activity are interconnected and both also linked to positive social feedback, feelings of control and fitting in among their adolescent peer group [39,40]. Connections between more positive self-image and higher levels of activity in AIS irrespective of curve severity are also reported in quantitative studies [41]. ...
Full-text available
Background Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a common spinal deformity with physical and psychosocial implications for adolescents. The aim of this qualitative evidence synthesis (QES) was to systematically search for, identify, and synthesise qualitative research in order to improve our understanding of what it is like to live with AIS and to facilitate empathetic and effective healthcare. Methods We systematically searched 4 databases (Medline, EMBASE, PsycINFO and CINAHL) and used the 7 phases of meta-ethnography to synthesise qualitative evidence including studies with children and adolescents, and additional viewpoints from parents about the experience of AIS. Results We distilled 7 themes. (1) Diagnosis turned time on its head revolves around the AIS diagnosis and the uncertainty of the future that accompanied it. (2) Usual activities no longer the same explores how activities and participation in everyday life are impacted by AIS. (3) Hiding my body describes the pervasive struggle with self-image and appearance. (4) I want to feel normal again explores adolescents’ desire to return to ‘normality’ and challenges of feeling different. (5) Balancing isolation and support considers the relationships in the adolescents’ lives alongside their feelings of isolation. (6) Trying to keep control of treatment decisions explores how adolescents and their parents strive to feel in control. (7) Fearing surgery yet feeling hopeful focused on the apprehension and fear around spinal surgery and the beacon of hope it represented. Conclusions Our QES contributes to the understanding of the adolescent experience of living with AIS. From our findings, clinicians can better understand the physical and psychosocial obstacles and the challenges faced throughout the journey of AIS to inform their clinical interactions with these patients.
Full-text available
Historically, prevention in psychology has never been outright objectionable for mental health professionals. However, despite its acceptance, not enough practitioners engage in prevention and wellness promotion in their daily activities. The Oxford Handbook of Prevention in Counseling Psychology offers the foundational knowledge necessary to engage in successful prevention and wellness promotion with clients across the lifespan. Written from a counseling psychology perspective, this book presents an approach to prevention that emphasizes strengths of individuals and communities, integrates multicultural and social justice perspectives, and includes best practices in the prevention of a variety of psychological problems in particular populations. Assembling articles into four comprehensive sections, this book provides expert coverage on the following: fundamental aspects of prevention research and practice (i.e. the history of prevention, best practice guidelines, ethics, and evaluation); relevant topics such as bullying, substance abuse, suicide, school dropout, disordered eating, and intimate partner violence; the promotion of wellness and adaptation in specific populations and environments, providing findings on increasing college retention rates, fostering healthy identity development, promoting wellness in returning veterans, and eliminating heterosexism and racism; and the future of prevention, training, the intersection of critical psychology and prevention, and the importance of advocacy.
This handbook is the first to comprehensively study the interdependent fields of environmental and conservation psychology. In doing so, it seeks to map the rapidly growing field of conservation psychology and its relationship to environmental psychology. The Oxford Handbook of Environmental and Conservation Psychology includes basic research on environmental perceptions, attitudes, and values; research on specific environments, such as therapeutic settings, schools, and prisons; environmental impacts on human well-being; and ways to promote a more sustainable relationship between people and the natural environment. This handbook presents an extensive review of current research and is a thorough guide to the state of knowledge about a wide range of topics at the intersection of psychology and the physical environment. Beyond this, it provides a better understanding of the relationship between environmental and conservation psychology, and some sense of the directions in which these interdependent areas of study are heading.
Full-text available
This study examined the relationship between adherence to 24 h movement guidelines (24 h MGs) and internalising and externalising behavioural problems in Chinese children aged 3–6 years, with a specific focus on the differences between weekdays and weekends. The guidelines include recommendations for physical activity (PA), screen time (ST), and sleep duration (SD). The results indicated a stronger association between adherence to these guidelines and behavioural problems on weekends compared to weekdays. Specifically, the odds of experiencing internalising problems were 1.33 higher (95% CI: 1.05–1.69) when not satisfying all three behaviours compared to not satisfying one or two. Moreover, on weekends, when ST was not fulfilled, there was a higher likelihood of externalising behaviour problems compared to when it was fulfilled (OR, 1.18, 95% CI, 1.01–1.38), and when all three behaviours were not met, the likelihood was even higher (OR, 1.50, 95% CI, 1.04–2.18). Children who met all three guidelines had fewer internalising and externalising behavioural problems, suggesting a potential beneficial effect on mental health. The study revealed that a higher adherence to these recommendations corresponded to a lower risk of mental health problems. Additionally, higher screen time was linked to an increase in externalising behavioural issues. These findings underscore the importance of adherence to 24 h MGs for optimal mental health in children. Future interventions should consider these behavioural factors and incorporate strategies to promote adherence to these guidelines, particularly on weekends.
Presents an integrative theoretical framework to explain and to predict psychological changes achieved by different modes of treatment. This theory states that psychological procedures, whatever their form, alter the level and strength of self-efficacy. It is hypothesized that expectations of personal efficacy determine whether coping behavior will be initiated, how much effort will be expended, and how long it will be sustained in the face of obstacles and aversive experiences. Persistence in activities that are subjectively threatening but in fact relatively safe produces, through experiences of mastery, further enhancement of self-efficacy and corresponding reductions in defensive behavior. In the proposed model, expectations of personal efficacy are derived from 4 principal sources of information: performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological states. Factors influencing the cognitive processing of efficacy information arise from enactive, vicarious, exhortative, and emotive sources. The differential power of diverse therapeutic procedures is analyzed in terms of the postulated cognitive mechanism of operation. Findings are reported from microanalyses of enactive, vicarious, and emotive modes of treatment that support the hypothesized relationship between perceived self-efficacy and behavioral changes. (21/2 p ref)
This study examined the interrelationships among perceived physical competence, motor competence, and participation in organized sport in young children. Males and females in Grades K through 4 (n = 250) were given The Perceived Competence Scale for Children (Harter, 1979) or The Pictoral Scale for Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children (Harter, Pike, Efron, Chao, & Bierer, 1983), a 9-item motor competence assessment battery, and a questionnaire regarding their participation in sport. Results revealed that perceived physical competence for children in these grade levels was not significantly related to their participation in organized sport programs. Motor competence was significantly related to participation in that participants in organized sport programs performed selected gross motor tasks better than did nonparticipants. Further, children's reported perceptions of physical competence were significantly related to their demonstrated motor competence. Discussion focused on the theoretical and practical implications of the results.
The purpose of this project was to undertake a long-term follow-up of participants in the Trois-Rivieres Growth and Development Study. Some 20 years after their initial involvement in the program, two groups were compared: experimental subjects (n = 150) who had received 5 one-hour sessions of specialized physical education per week throughout their 6 years of primary school, and the original control group (n = 103). All subjects completed a questionnaire regarding current patterns of physical activity (PA), attitudes and beliefs about PA, and perceived barriers to PA. Principal results indicate: (a) More experimental than control women exercise 3 times or more per week, (b) experimental subjects more commonly perceived their health to be very good to excellent, (c) control subjects in general felt less psychological dependency on exercise, and (d) women in the experimental group had a lower relative risk of back problems.
Advocates of quality daily physical education for prepubescent children frequently encounter the argument that such initiatives will harm academic progress. The impact of daily physical education upon the academic performance of primary school students is thus reviewed with particular reference to studies conducted in Vanves (France), Australia, and Trois Rivières (Québec). When a substantial proportion of curricular time (14-26%) is allocated to physical activity, learning seems to proceed more rapidly per unit of classroom time, so that academic performance matches, and may even exceed, that of control students. Children receiving additional physical education show an acceleration of their psychomotor development, and this could provide a mechanism for accelerated learning of academic skills. Other potential mechanisms include increased cerebral blood flow, greater arousal, changes in hormone levels, enhanced nutrient intake, changes in body build, and increased self esteem. Academic teachers may also favor the enhanced physical education program, creating "halo" effects, and the resulting release time may enhance their academic teaching. Irrespective of mechanisms, the implication for public policy is that daily required physical education can be introduced when a child enters primary school without compromising academic development. Given the importance of establishing positive health habits from an early age, school boards should be encouraged to follow a policy of required daily physical activity in primary schools. Evidence of specific benefit in students with learning disabilities remains less convincing.
The Giessen Subjective Complaints List for Children (GSCL-C), a questionnaire on physical complaints in self-image form, was developed out of the adult GSCL. The questionnaire contains items from the areas; general wellbeing, vegetative complaints, pains, emotionality and children's complaints. The subjects is asked to estimate the degree of distress caused by each complaint (never/rarely/sometimes/often/always). Factor analysis based on a sample of 1047 schoolchildren aged 9 to 15 revealed five complaint complexes containing seven items each, which were subsequently grouped into the following scales: (1) Exhaustion, (2) Gastric Complaints, (3) Pains in Limbs, (4) Circulatory Problems, (5) Cold Symptoms. The sum of the five scales makes up the sixth scale score, overall distress. Besides describing the development of the instrument and its scales, sex- and age-related norms are given and the assessment criteria explained. Procedure and areas of application are also discussed
This book is intended to inspire mental health professionals to bring to their work a clearer understanding of, interest in, and enthusiasm for exercise in the process of recovery from mental or emotional problems. It blends theory, research, and practice experience. The primary theme directs psychotherapists toward the value of exercise in the treatment of most psychiatric conditions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Explores the impact of exercise on psychological well-being. Issues discussed include problems associated with the evaluation of the benefits of exercise, advantages of exercise therapy over alternative therapeutic forms, and specificity of responses to exercise (e.g., elevated arousal, secretion of mood-altering chemicals, self-efficacy, body image, fatigue and mood state). Also considered are the interindividual differences in susceptibility (e.g., personality and life-styles, nature and extent of mood disturbances), and the benefits vs risks of exercise therapy. Evidence suggests that regular physical activity is of benefit to both physical and psychological health. (French, Spanish, German & Italian abstracts) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)