Physical Exercise Predicts Social Competence and General Well-Being in Chinese Children 10 to 15 Years Old: a Preliminary Study
- 132 Downloads
Studies have confirmed a variety of physical and psychological benefits of physical exercise in children, but it remains unclear if there is a relation between physical exercise and children’s social competence. Considering that social interactions are often involved when children do physical exercise, we speculated that physical exercise might predict children’s social competence, as well as general well-being. In the current study, we aimed to examine this possibility with the statistics of a nationally representative sample of China (n = 3459, age range = 10–15 yrs). Data on children’s self-reported physical exercise frequency, social competence and general well-being were collected. The results showed that: (a) physical exercise positively predicted the number of good friends, friendship intimacy and social skills in children; (b) the relation between physical exercise and the number of good friends was moderated by age, such that physical exercise played a less important role as age increased; (c) physical exercise was positively related to children’s general well-being and the relation was mediated by children’s social competence. We concluded that physical exercise might relate to improved social competence and general well-being of 10–15 years old Chinese children.
KeywordsPhysical exercise Social competence General well-being Children
We are grateful to the Institute of Social Science Survey, Peking University for providing the data.
JS and YS proposed the concept and designed the study; JS performed the acquisition and analysis of the data; JS, YS, ZW performed the interpretation of the data. JS drafted the study; YS and ZW revised the study for important intellectual content. All the authors approved the version to be published and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriate investigated and resolved.
This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 31371040, 31571134).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
We declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
- Bradley, R. H., & Corwyn, R. F. (2002). Socioeconomic status and child development. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 371–399. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.53.100901.135233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Branchi, I., Curley, J. P., D’Andrea, I., Cirulli, F., Champagne, F. A., & Alleva, E. (2013). Early interactions with mother and peers independently build adult social skills and shape BDNF and oxytocin receptor brain levels. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38(4), 522–532. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2012.07.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Chen, X., & French, D. C. (2008). Children’s social competence in cultural context. Annual Review of Psychology, 59, 591–616. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.59.103006.093606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Currie, C., Zanotti, C., Morgan, A., Currie, D., DeLooze, M., Roberts, C., … Barnekow, V. (2012). Health behaviour in school-aged children (HBSC) study: International report from the 2009/2010 survey. Health policy for children and adolescents, no. 6. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe. Retrived from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265034558
- Davis, C. L., Tomporowski, P. D., McDowell, J. E., Austin, B. P., Miller, P. H., Yanasak, N. E., et al. (2011). Exercise improves executive function and achievement and alters brain activation in overweight children: A randomized controlled trial. Health Psychology, 30(1), 91–98. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- De Boer, A. G. E. M., Van Lanschot, J. J. B., Stalmeier, P. F. M., Van Sandick, J. W., Hulscher, J. B. F., De Haes, J. C. J. M., & Sprangers, M. A. G. (2004). Is a single-item visual analogue scale as valid, reliable and responsive as multi-item scales in measuring quality of life? Quality of Life Research, 13(2), 311–320. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:QURE.0000018499.64574.1f.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Dietz, W. H. (1998). Health consequences of obesity in youth: Childhood predictors of adult disease. Pediatrics, 101(supplement 2), 518–525.Google Scholar
- Dulfer, K., Helbing, W. A., Duppen, N., & Utens, E. M. W. J. (2014). Associations between exercise capacity, physical activity, and psychosocial functioning in children with congenital heart disease: A systematic review. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 21(10), 1200–1215. https://doi.org/10.1177/2047487313494030.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Eime, R. M., Young, J. A., Harvey, J. T., Charity, M. J., & Payne, W. R. (2013). A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents: Informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10, 98–118. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-10-98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ford, E. S., Merritt, R. K., Heath, G. W., Powell, K. E., Washburn, R. A., Kriska, A., & Haile, G. (1991). Physical activity behaviors in lower and higher socioeconomic status populations. American Journal of Epidemiology, 133(12), 1246–1256. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a115836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Howie, L. D., Lukacs, S. L., Pastor, P. N., Reuben, C. A., & Mendola, P. (2010). Participation in activities outside of school hours in relation to problem behavior and social skills in middle childhood. Journal of School Health, 80(3), 119–125. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2009.00475.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Institute of Social Science Survey, Peking University. (2015). Peking University open research data. Data from: China family panel studies. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.18170/DVN/45LCSO.
- Kelly, W., Maureen, C., Jose, M., & Brittany, W. (2015). School-based peer-related social competence interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder: A meta-analysis and descriptive review of single case research design studies. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(6), 1513–1531. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2373-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kishida, M., & Elavsky, S. (2016). A daily process approach to depict satisfaction with life during the menopausal transition: Physical (in) activity, symptoms, and neuroticism. Journal of Happiness Studies. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-016-9743-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ladd, G. W. (2005). Children’s peer relations and social competence: A century of progress. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Müller, U. M., Walther, C., Adams, V., Mende, M., Adam, J., Fikenzer, K., et al. (2016). Long term impact of one daily unit of physical exercise at school on cardiovascular risk factors in school children. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 23(13), 1444–1452. https://doi.org/10.1177/2047487316632966.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Peck, R., & Devore, J. (2012). Statistics: The exploration and analysis of data (pp. 515–572). Boston: Cengage Learning.Google Scholar
- Peterson, G. W., & Bush, K. R. (2013). Conceptualizing cultural influences on socialization: Comparing parent – Adolescent relationships in the United States and Mexico. In G. W. Peterson & K. R. Bush (Eds.), Handbook of marriage and the family (pp. 177–208). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Prakash, R. S., Voss, M. W., Erickson, K. I., & Kramer, A. F. (2015). Physical activity and cognitive vitality. Annual Review of Psychology, 66, 769–797. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-010814-015249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ren, X., & Guo, Y. (2009). Left-behind children in rural primary school in Henan province of sports situation and its analysis of influencing factors (in Chinese). Journal of Nanjing Institute of Physical Education (Social Science), 23(3), 42–46. https://doi.org/10.15877/j.cnki.nsic.2009.03.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sisson, S. B., Church, T. S., Martin, C. K., Tudor-Locke, C., Smith, S. R., Bouchard, C., et al. (2009). Profiles of sedentary behavior in children and adolescents: The US national health and nutrition examination survey, 2001–2006. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 4(4), 353–359. https://doi.org/10.3109/17477160902934777.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Solberg, P. A., Halvari, H., & Ommundsen, Y. (2013). Linking exercise and causality orientations to change in well-being among older adults: Does change in motivational variables play a role? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43(6), 1269–1272. https://doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12088.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Tanaka, R., Ozawa, J., Kito, N., & Moriyama, H. (2016). Effects of exercise therapy on walking ability in individuals with knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Clinical Rehabilitation, 30(1), 36–52. https://doi.org/10.1177/0269215515570098.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Twisk, J. W., Kemper, H. C., van Mechelen, W., & Post, G. B. (1997). Tracking of risk factors for coronary heart disease over a 14-year period: A comparison between lifestyle and biological risk factors with data from the Amsterdam growth and health study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 145(10), 888–898.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vancampfort, D., Probst, M., De Hert, M., Soundy, A., Stubbs, B., Stroobants, M., & de Herdt, A. (2014). Neurobiological effects of physical exercise in schizophrenia: A systematic review. Disability and Rehabilitation, 36(21), 1749–1754. https://doi.org/10.3109/09638288.2013.874505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- van Vulpen, J. K., Peeters, P. H., Velthuis, M. J., van der Wall, E., & May, A. M. (2016). Effects of physical exercise during adjuvant breast cancer treatment on physical and psychosocial dimensions of cancer-related fatigue: A meta-analysis. Maturitas, 85, 104–111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2015.12.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Xie, Y. (2012). China family panel studies (2012) user’s manual. Peking University Open Research Data Platform, V8. https://doi.org/10.18170/DVN/45LCSO.
- Zhang, F. (2010). A survey of children’s physical exercise engagement and contributing factors (in Chinese). Sport, 13, 59–61. https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1674-151x.2010.09.036.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Zhu, X., & Han, J. (2009). Investigations and analysis of children physical activity in Wuhan (in Chinese). Fujian Sports Science and Technology, 28(4), 21–23. https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1004-8790.2009.04.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar