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  • Author: Erin K. Shoulberg x
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Timothy LaVigne, Betsy Hoza, Alan L. Smith, Erin K. Shoulberg and William Bukowski

We examined the relation between physical fitness and psychological well-being in children ages 10–14 years (N = 222), and the potential moderation of this relation by sex. Participants completed a physical fitness assessment comprised of seven tasks and a diverse set of self-report well-being measures assessing depressive symptoms, loneliness, and competence. Peers reported on social status and teachers rated adaptive functioning, internalizing symptoms, and externalizing symptoms. Multiple regression analyses indicated a significant association between physical fitness and psychological well-being for both boys and girls. Higher levels of physical fitness were associated with lower levels of peer dyadic loneliness and fewer depressive symptoms; greater cognitive, social, and athletic competence; greater feelings of self-worth; and better teacher reports of adaptive functioning. An interaction between internalizing and sex indicated a significant and negative association between physical fitness and internalizing symptoms for males only. No other moderation effects by sex were observed. Results suggest that physical fitness is associated with a range of well-being indicators for both boys and girls in this age group.

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Connie L. Tompkins, Erin K. Shoulberg, Lori E. Meyer, Caroline P. Martin, Marissa Dennis, Allison Krasner and Betsy Hoza

Background: According to the US Institute of Medicine guideline, preschool-aged children should participate in ≥15 minutes of physical activity (PA) per hour or 3 hours per day over 12 hours. Examinations of PA guideline compliance to date averaged time spent in PA over several days; however, children could exceed the guideline on some days and not on others. Therefore, this cross-sectional study examined PA guideline compliance in preschool children based on number of minutes per hour (average method) and percentage of days the guideline was met (everyday method). Methods: PA was measured by accelerometry during the preschool day for up to 10 days in 177 children (59.3% males, Mage = 4.23). Minutes per hour and percentage of time in light, moderate to vigorous, and total PAs were calculated. Percentage of days in compliance was determined by number of days in compliance (defined as the child active on average ≥15 min/h) divided by total accelerometer days. Results: Children engaged in PA, on average, 17.01 minutes per hour, suggesting that on average, children are meeting the guideline. However, children were only in compliance with the PA guideline 62.41% of assessment days. Conclusions: Findings demonstrate the importance of examining compliance with both the average and everyday methods to more accurately portray level of Institute of Medicine PA guideline compliance.