Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 2772–2779 | Cite as

Individual Differences in Negative Affectivity and Physical Activity in Adolescents: An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

  • Christopher C. Cushing
  • Carolina M. Bejarano
  • Tarrah B. Mitchell
  • Amy E. Noser
  • Cristopher J. Crick
Original Research


To examine the bi-directional relationships between negative affectivity (i.e., depression, anxiety, and anger) and adolescents’ physical activity in nearly real time. Twenty-six adolescents (Mage = 15.67 ± 1.56 years; 57.7% male) were asked to complete 80 self-report measures of their negative affect (depression, anxiety, and anger) via a smartphone app and wear an accelerometer as an objective assessment of their physical activity over 20 consecutive days. Negative fixed effects emerged for within-person depression and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) as well as for within-person anger and MVPA. Further, there were significant random effects for each of the within-person negative affect variables and MVPA. Study findings highlight the importance of considering individual differences in the association between negative affect constructs and physical activity.


Physical activity Ecological momentary assessment Adolescent Negative affect 



Christopher Cushing’s research was partially supported by a Targeted Research Grant from the Society of Pediatric Psychology. Christopher Crick’s research was partially supported by National Science Foundation awards, specifically grant numbers 1539070 and 1527828. The current study fully complies with the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics.

Author Contributions

C.C.C.: obtained funding for the project; conceptualized the work; provided substantial original writing; conducted the statistical and methodological design; conducted the statistical analyses; collected the data; editing the work; and supervised/mentored C.M.B., T.B.M., & A.E.N. C.M.B., T.B.M., & A.E.N.: collaborated in the conceptualization of the work, provided substantial original writing, and edited the work. C.J.C.: collaborated in the conceptualization of the work, designed the PETE app and oversaw its use, and edited the work.


The first author held a Targeted Research Grant from the Society of Pediatric Psychology during the drafting of this manuscript. The last author held grants from the National Science Foundation during the writing of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher C. Cushing
    • 1
  • Carolina M. Bejarano
    • 1
  • Tarrah B. Mitchell
    • 1
  • Amy E. Noser
    • 1
  • Cristopher J. Crick
    • 2
  1. 1.Clinical Child Psychology Program & Schiefelbusch, Institute for Life Span StudiesUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  2. 2.Science DepartmentOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

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