Clustering of Multilevel Factors Among Children and Adolescents: Associations With Health-Related Physical Fitness

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Shan Cai Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, BJ, China
National Health Commission Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, Beijing, BJ, China

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6876-5558
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Yunfei Liu Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, BJ, China
National Health Commission Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, Beijing, BJ, China

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Jiajia Dang Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, BJ, China
National Health Commission Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, Beijing, BJ, China

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Panliang Zhong Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, BJ, China
National Health Commission Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, Beijing, BJ, China

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Di Shi Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, BJ, China
National Health Commission Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, Beijing, BJ, China

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Ziyue Chen Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, BJ, China
National Health Commission Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, Beijing, BJ, China

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Peijin Hu Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, BJ, China
National Health Commission Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, Beijing, BJ, China

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Jun Ma Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, BJ, China
National Health Commission Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, Beijing, BJ, China

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Yanhui Dong Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, BJ, China
National Health Commission Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, Beijing, BJ, China

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Yi Song Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, BJ, China
National Health Commission Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, Beijing, BJ, China

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Hein Raat Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

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Background: To identify the clustering characteristics of individual-, family-, and school-level factors, and examine their associations with health-related physical fitness. Methods: A total of 145,893 Chinese children and adolescents aged 9–18 years participated in this cross-sectional study. The 2-step cluster analysis was conducted to identify clusters among individual-, family-, and school-level factors. Physical fitness indicator was calculated through sex- and age-specific z scores of forced vital capacity, standing long jump, sit-and-reach flexibility, body muscle strength, endurance running, and body mass index. Results: Three, 3, and 5 clusters were automatically identified at individual, family, and school levels, respectively. Students with low physical fitness indicator were more likely to be in the “longest sedentary time and skipping breakfast” cluster (odds ratio [OR] = 1.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12–1.24), and “physical inactivity and insufficient protein consumption” cluster (OR = 1.07; 95% CI, 1.02–1.12) at individual level, the “single children and high parental education level” cluster (OR = 1.15; 95% CI, 1.10–1.21), and “no physical activity support and preference” cluster (OR = 1.30; 95% CI, 1.25–1.36) at family level, and the “physical education occupied” cluster (OR = 1.06; 95% CI, 1.01–1.11), and “insufficient physical education frequency” cluster (OR = 1.16; 95% CI, 1.08–1.24) at school level. Girls were more vulnerable to individual- and school-level clusters, while boys were more susceptible to family clusters; the younger students were more sensitive to school clusters, and the older students were more susceptible to family clusters (P-interaction < .05). Conclusions: This study confirmed different clusters at multilevel factors and proved their associations with health-related physical fitness, thus providing new perspective for developing targeted interventions.

Supplementary Materials

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    • Supplementary Table S7 (PDF 83 KB)
    • Supplementary Table S8 (PDF 77 KB)
    • Supplementary Table S9 (PDF 75 KB)
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