Background and aims:
The Environmental Stress Hypothesis (ESH) has been used to examine how the relationship between poor motor coordination and psychological distress is affected by physical health and psychosocial factors. However, work applying the ESH is still limited, and no studies have used this framework with adults. The current investigation aims to examine the association between motor coordination and psychological distress among emerging adults, and examine potential mediators to this relationship based on the ESH.
225 young adults aged 17-23 years completed a survey of motor coordination, physical activity, secondary stressors (i.e., general stress and global relationships), perceived social support, self-concept, and psychological distress. Structural equation modeling was conducted to examine mediating pathways and overall model fit.
The final model of the ESH showed good model fit (x2 = 83.24, p < .01; RMSEA=0.056; NNFI = 0.927; CFI = 0.954; GFI = 0.947), and indicated that the relationship between poor motor coordination and psychological distress was mediated by secondary stressors, perceived social support, and self-concept.
This study highlights the effect of poor motor coordination on psychological distress in young adults, and suggests that interventions should target psychosocial well-being, in addition to motor coordination, to prevent psychological distress.