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Maureen R. Weiss

Children and youth participate in physical activities to develop and demonstrate physical competence, attain social acceptance and approval, and experience enjoyment. Satisfying these motives enhances interest in sustaining physical activity, which contributes to improved motor skills, self-confidence, social relationships, and other positive outcomes. My essay explores motor skill development and youth physical activity through a social psychological lens and the benefits of integrating scientific knowledge from our respective fields to inform research and professional practice. Motor development and sport psychology researchers can collaborate to address critical issues related to motor and perceived competence and physical activity. I recommend five ways for integrating knowledge: (1) applying social psychological theory to guide research questions, (2) using more longitudinal designs, (3) using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, (4) designing studies on physical literacy, and (5) employing a positive youth development (PYD) approach for improving motor and social-emotional skills. These efforts can assist teachers, coaches, and parents in creating opportunities for youth to learn and improve fundamental motor and sport skills and to achieve feelings of competence, autonomy, relatedness, and joy for motivating a lifetime of physical activity.

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Nicholas Stanger and Susan H. Backhouse

Moral identity and moral disengagement have been linked with doping likelihood. However, experiments testing the temporal direction of these relationships are absent. The authors conducted one cross-sectional and two experimental studies investigating the conjunctive effects of moral identity and moral disengagement on doping likelihood (or intention). Dispositional moral identity was inversely (marginally), and doping moral disengagement, positively, associated with doping intention (Study 1). Manipulating situations to amplify opportunities for moral disengagement increased doping likelihood via anticipated guilt (Study 2). Moreover, dispositional moral identity (Study 2) and inducing moral identity (Study 3) were linked with lower doping likelihood and attenuated the relationship between doping moral disengagement and doping likelihood. However, the suppressing effect of moral identity on doping likelihood was overridden when opportunities for moral disengagement were amplified. These findings support multifaceted antidoping efforts, which include simultaneously enhancing athlete moral identity and personal responsibility alongside reducing social opportunities for moral disengagement.

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Alison Griffin, Tim Roselli and Susan L. Clemens

Background: Health benefits of physical activity (PA) accrue with small increases in PA, with the greatest benefits for those transitioning from inactivity to any level of PA. This study examined whether self-reported PA time in Queensland adults changed between 2004 and 2018. Methods: The Queensland government conducts regular cross-sectional telephone surveys. Between 2004 and 2018, adults aged 18–75 years answered identical questions about their weekly minutes of walking, moderate PA, and vigorous PA. Hurdle regression estimated the average annual change in weekly minutes of PA overall and by activity type, focusing on sociodemographic differences in trends. Results: The sample size averaged 1764 (2004–2008) and 10,188 (2009–2018), totaling 107,171 participants aged 18–75 years. Unadjusted PA increased by 10 minutes per week per year (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.8–11.1) overall, with increases for most subgroups. Adjusted PA increased by 10.5 minutes per week per year (95% CI, 9.4–11.7). Trends differed by employment—employed adults and those not in the labor force increased by 14.3 (95% CI, 12.8–15.8) and 2.2 minutes per week per year (95% CI, 0.4–4.0), respectively, with no increase for unemployed adults. The increases were due to both an increased prevalence of doing any activity and an increased average duration among active adults. Conclusions: Since 2004, PA time has increased for Queensland adults, with substantial variability by employment status.

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Jillian J. Haszard, Kim Meredith-Jones, Victoria Farmer, Sheila Williams, Barbara Galland and Rachael Taylor

Although 24-hour time-use data are increasingly being examined in relation to indices of health, consensus has yet to be reached about the best way to present estimates from compositional analyses. This analysis explored the impact of different presentations of results when assessing the relationship between 24-hour time-use and body mass index (BMI) z-score using compositional analysis of 5-day actigraphy data in 742 children. First it was found that reallocating non-wear time to day-time components only (sedentary behavior, light physical activity, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity [MVPA]) before normalization to 24 hours provided stronger estimates with BMI z-score than simply removing non-wear time before normalization. Estimates for sleep time were substantially affected, where associations with BMI z-score nearly doubled (mean difference [95% CI] in BMI z-score for 10% longer sleep were −0.20 [−0.32, −0.08] compared to −0.11 [−0.23, 0.002]). Presenting estimates in terms of a greater number of minutes in a component, relative to all others, showed MVPA to be the strongest predictor of BMI z-score, while estimates in terms of the proportion of minutes showed sleep to be the strongest predictor. Both presentations have value. However, presentations in terms of one-to-one “substitutions” of time may need careful interpretation due to the uneven distribution of time in each component. In conclusion, when analyzing relationships between 24-hour time-use and health outcomes, non-wear time and presentation of estimates can impact final conclusions. As a result, the current understanding of the importance of sleep for child health may be underestimated.

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Stephanie Field, Jeff Crane, Patti-Jean Naylor and Viviene Temple

Children who underestimate their physical abilities have lower motivation, higher anxiety, and lack of understanding as to why they may be succeeding or struggling in sports settings, which can result in withdrawal from physical activities. Theoretically, middle childhood is a time when perceptions of physical competence (PPC) become more accurate as children develop the cognitive capacity to interpret new sources of feedback and develop a realistic sense of their physical abilities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which accuracy of PPC changed from grade 2 to grade 4. Participants were 238 boys and girls (M age = 7.8 yrs) from eight participating elementary schools in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The Test of Gross Motor Development–Second Edition was used to assess motor skills. PPC were assessed using the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children (for grade 2) and the Self-Perception Profile for Children (for grades 3 and 4). Results revealed that participants who underestimated or overestimated their physical competence in grade 2 saw an improvement in accuracy, and, by grade 4, had similar accuracy scores to their peers who were considered ‘accurate’ estimators. These results reinforce theory that suggests PPC become more accurate in middle childhood.

Open access

Nicola Brown, Jacky Forsyth, Rachael Bullingham and Claire-Marie Roberts

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Lori A. Gano-Overway

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Ignacio Perez-Pozuelo, Thomas White, Kate Westgate, Katrien Wijndaele, Nicholas J. Wareham and Soren Brage

Background: Wrist-worn accelerometry is the commonest objective method for measuring physical activity in large-scale epidemiological studies. Research-grade devices capture raw triaxial acceleration which, in addition to quantifying movement, facilitates assessment of orientation relative to gravity. No population-based study has yet described the interrelationship and variation of these features by time and personal characteristics. Methods: 2,043 United Kingdom adults (35–65 years) wore an accelerometer on the non-dominant wrist and a chest-mounted combined heart-rate-and-movement sensor for 7 days free-living. From raw (60 Hz) wrist acceleration, we derived movement (non-gravity acceleration) and pitch and roll (forearm) angles relative to gravity. We inferred physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) from combined sensing and sedentary time from approximate horizontal arm angle coupled with low movement. Results: Movement differences by time-of-day and day-of-week were associated with forearm angles; more movement in downward forearm positions. Mean (SD) movement was similar between sexes ∼31 (42) mg, despite higher PAEE in men. Women spent longer with the forearm pitched >0°, above horizontal (53% vs 36%), and less time at <0° (37% vs 53%). Diurnal pitch was 2.5–5° above and 0–7.5°below horizontal during night and daytime, respectively; corresponding roll angles were ∼0° (hand flat) and ∼20° (thumb-up). Differences were more pronounced in younger participants. All diurnal profiles indicated later wake-times on weekends. Daytime pitch was closer to horizontal on weekdays; roll was similar. Sedentary time was higher (17 vs 15 hours/day) in obese vs normal-weight individuals. Conclusions: More movement occurred in forearm positions below horizontal, commensurate with activities including walking. Findings suggest time-specific population differences in behaviors by age, sex, and BMI.