The Relationship Between Low-Income and Minority Children's Physical Activity and Academic-Related Outcomes: A Review of the Literature

ArticleinHealth Education & Behavior 38(5):441-51 · February 2011with37 Reads
DOI: 10.1177/1090198110375025 · Source: PubMed
Abstract
This article explores an innovative strategy for battling the obesity epidemic. The strategy involves demonstrating to policy makers and education leaders the value of promoting physical activity in school as a way of enhancing academic-related outcomes to narrow the current achievement gap. A literature review was conducted to ascertain the feasibility of this strategy. Seven studies that examined the relationship between physical activity or fitness and academic-related outcomes were reviewed. Although more research is needed in this area, the majority of the articles reviewed found that regardless of socioeconomic status or ethnicity, a positive relationship exists between physical activity and academic-related outcomes. These findings suggest that integrating more physical activity into the school day may be an effective strategy to reduce both health disparities and the achievement gap.
    • "In terms of the Clover Leaf Model, 'Action Orientation' dominates early childhood but, despite losing this dominance in later development, still plays a crucial role throughout adolescence (Malti & Noam, 2009). A possible reason for its impact on achievement is that youths with higher 'Action Orientation' may be healthier, as they are more active and this may facilitate learning in school through reducing stress and enabling students to focus (Efrat, 2011). Previous research has consistently linked exercise to improved executive function and academic achievement (Tomporowski, Davis, Miller, & Naglieri, 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Socio-emotional resiliencies play crucial roles in facilitating adolescent development and positive adjustment to education. A better understanding of this relationship using the Clover Leaf Framework (Malti & Noam, 2009) will inform school interventions and facilitate academic achievement through supporting socio-emotional foundations of learning. The aim was to examine the relationship between socio-emotional resiliencies and academic achievement in English and Maths for middle school students. The Clover Model predicted that resiliencies related to belonging will influence achievement during this developmental stage. Socio-emotional resiliency was measured using the Holistic Student Assessment (HSA), questionnaire addressing 14 resiliency measures, and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) which addresses 5 more clinical socio-emotional factors. Standardized test scores were taken from the 2011 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). A multiple regression was performed. Performance in English was predicted by higher scores in the resiliencies of ‘Action Orientation’, ‘Self-Efficacy’, ‘Academic Motivation’, and ‘Relationship with Peers’. Performance in Maths was predicted by higher ‘Action Orientation’. As a Belonging resiliency was predictive of achievement in ELA, this supports the Clover Model. Socio-emotional resiliencies are closely tied to achievement. More resiliencies were influential in ELA, and there was a common predictor, suggesting it is best to focus on the related resiliencies through the English curriculum for a global impact on healthy youth development.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · JAMA Pediatrics
    • "Now that preliminary associations have been uncovered, more detailed investigations of what happens during recess and physical education would help researchers delineate the potential benefits and drawbacks of each. Furthermore, physical activity, especially since it is already expected to occur in the realm of recess and physical education classes, would be a cheap, easy, non-invasive, form of intervention with numerous potential benefits (Efrat, 2011)Table 13, continued Full Sample (N= 1986) Low-income Sample (n= 594) Model1 Model2 Model3 Model4 Model1 Model2 Model3 Hispanic -0.51 -0.47 -0.54 -0.47 0.95 0.95 0.93 (1.33) (1.33) (1.Table 13, continued Full Sample (N= 1986) Low-income Sample (n= 594) Model1 Model2 Model3 Model4 Model1 Model2 Model3 "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years young children have concurrently experienced startling rises in their rates of obesity and stark reductions in their opportunities for physical activity. These trends have potentially serious implications for young children’s school performance. However, much of the current physical activity research is concerned with health-related outcomes and the prediction of physical activity. Less work has examined the influence of activity on other domains of child development, such as academic and social skills. The current dissertation is comprised of two studies examining opportunities for and levels of physical activity in two distinct developmental periods (preschool and elementary school) and elucidating associations of physical activity with children’s self-regulation and achievement. Examining two independent samples facilitated comparisons of physical activity characteristics and associations across age groups, school settings and demographic contexts. The first study consisted of a within-group analysis of a primarily low-income minority subsample of 4 and 5 year-old preschoolers (N = 104) drawn from the Pitt School Readiness Study, a study of preschoolers from the metropolitan Pittsburgh area. Results from this examination suggest that, although children’s moderate to vigorous activity was not related to self-regulation or achievement, opportunities for physical activity seemed important. Specifically, more time in free play predicted worse attention, and more time in recess predicted more externalizing behavior, less self-control, and worse math achievement. In contrast, more physical education time predicted better reading and math skills. The second study consisted of analyses on a large, economically and ethnically diverse sample of third and fifth graders (N = 993) and a low income subsample (n = 297). Across these samples, more physical education emerged as a positive predictor of self-control but more recess time was negatively associated with math achievement. Accelerometry measured physical activity was not predictive across outcomes. Finally, post-hoc examinations revealed that attention, self-control, and externalizing behaviors acted as possible agents of indirect associations between opportunities for physical activity and achievement. Overall, findings across both studies suggest that children benefit most from physical activity that is structured and regularly scheduled within school settings. Furthermore, large quantities of unstructured activity seemed detrimental for self-regulation and achievement.
    Article · Jan 2012 · JAMA Pediatrics
    • "Lower-income youth also participate less in PA [40]. Existing evidence shows that students who are more physically active have lower BMI scores than more sedentary youth [38, 41], and that school-based PA has a positive effect on health outcomes and academic performance particularly among low-income and minority children [5]. Therefore, it is important to develop strategies to increase the number of minutes of recess offered specifically for these vulnerable populations most at-risk to suffer the many health complications associated with obesity. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the impact of state- and school district-level policies on the prevalence of physical education (PE) and recess in a nationally representative sample of US public elementary schools. Analyses from annual, nationally representative, cross-sectional surveys of school administrators in the United States. Data were collected through surveys conducted between February and June during the 2006-2007 through 2008-2009 school years. State laws and district policies were compiled annually by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago using established legal research techniques. The sample size was 47 states, 690 districts, and 1761 schools. State- and school district-level PE and recess-related laws. Twenty minutes of daily recess and 150 min/wk of PE. The odds of schools having 150 min/wk of PE increased if they were located in states (odds ratio [OR], 2.8; 95% CI, 1.3-5.7) or school districts (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.3-4.3) having a law or policy requiring 150 min/wk of PE. Schools located in states with laws encouraging daily recess were significantly more likely to have 20 minutes of recess daily (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.2-2.8). District policies were not significantly associated with school-level recess practices. Adequate PE time was inversely associated with recess and vice versa, suggesting that schools are substituting one form of physical activity for another rather than providing the recommended amount of both recess and PE. By mandating PE or recess, policy makers can effectively increase school-based physical activity opportunities for youth.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011
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