Advertisement

Physical Exercise Predicts Social Competence and General Well-Being in Chinese Children 10 to 15 Years Old: a Preliminary Study

  • Jinlong Su
  • Zhen Wu
  • Yanjie Su
Article
  • 104 Downloads

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Physical exercise Social competence General well-being Children 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to the Institute of Social Science Survey, Peking University for providing the data.

Author Contributions

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.

Funding

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.

References

  1. Abdel-Khalek, A. M. (2006). Measuring happiness with a single-item scale. Social Behavior and Personality, 34(2), 139–150.  https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2006.34.2.139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Archer, T., & Garcia, D. (2014). Health benefits of physical exercise for children and adolescents. Journal of Novel Physiotherapies, 4(2), 203.  https://doi.org/10.4172/2165-7025.1000203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bailey, R. (2006). Physical education and sport in schools: A review of benefits and outcomes. Journal of School Health, 76(8), 397–401.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2006.00132.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berndt, T. J. (2002). Friendship quality and social development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11(1), 7–10.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8721.00157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Biddle, S. J. H., & Asare, M. (2011). Physical activity and mental health in children and adolescents: A review of reviews. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45, 886–895.  https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2011-090185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Chu, P. S., Saucier, D. A., & Hafner, E. (2010). Meta-analysis of the relationships between social support and well-being in children and adolescents. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 29(6), 624–645.  https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2010.29.6.624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Craft, L. L., & Landers, D. M. (1998). The effect of exercise on clinical depression and depression resulting from mental illness: A meta-analysis. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 20(4), 339–357.  https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.20.4.339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 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
  12. Davey, H. M., Barratt, A. L., Butow, P. N., & Deeks, J. J. (2007). A one-item question with a Likert or visual analog scale adequately measured current anxiety. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 60(4), 356–360.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2006.07.015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. Diamond, A., & Lee, K. (2011). Interventions shown to aid executive function development in children 4–12 years old. Science, 333(6045), 959–964.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1204529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dietz, W. H. (1998). Health consequences of obesity in youth: Childhood predictors of adult disease. Pediatrics, 101(supplement 2), 518–525.Google Scholar
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. Ellis, R., Shields, N., Lim, K., & Dodd, K. J. (2015). Eccentric exercise in adults with cardiorespiratory disease: A systematic review. Clinical Rehabilitation, 29(12), 1178–1197.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0269215515574783.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 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
  21. Fordyce, M. W. (1988). A review of research on the happiness measures: A sixty second index of happiness and mental health. Social Indicators Research, 20(4), 355–381.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00302333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fraser, G. E., Phillips, R. L., & Harris, R. (1983). Physical fitness and blood pressure in school children. Circulation, 67(2), 405–412.  https://doi.org/10.1161/01.CIR.67.2.405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Freedman, D. S., Khan, L. K., Dietz, W. H., Srinivasan, S. R., & Berenson, G. S. (2001). Relationship of childhood obesity to coronary heart disease risk factors in adulthood: The Bogalusa heart study. Pediatrics, 108(3), 712–718.  https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.108.3.712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gallo, L. C., & Matthews, K. A. (2003). Understanding the association between socioeconomic status and physical health: Do negative emotions play a role? Psychological Bulletin, 129(1), 10–51.  https://doi.org/10.1037//0033-2909.129.1.10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Garcia, D., Archer, T., Moradi, S., & Arntén, A. C. (2012). Exercise frequency, high activation positive affect, and psychological well-being: Beyond age, gender, and occupation. Psychology, 3(4), 328–336.  https://doi.org/10.4236/psych.2012.34047.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gifford-Smith, M. E., & Brownell, C. A. (2003). Childhood peer relationships: Social acceptance, friendships, and peer networks. Journal of School Psychology, 41, 235–284.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-4405(03)00048-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Giles-Corti, B., & Donovan, R. J. (2002). Socioeconomic status differences in recreational physical activity levels and real and perceived access to a supportive physical environment. Preventive Medicine, 35(6), 601–611.  https://doi.org/10.1006/pmed.2002.1115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hassmen, P., Koivula, N., & Uutela, A. (2000). Physical exercise and psychological well-being: A population study in Finland. Preventive Medicine, 30(1), 17–25.  https://doi.org/10.1006/pmed.1999.0597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hayes, A. F., & Scharkow, M. (2013). The relative trustworthiness of inferential tests of the indirect effect in statistical mediation analysis does method really matter? Psychological Science, 24(10), 1918–1927.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797613480187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Heath, G. W., Parra, D. C., Sarmiento, O. L., Andersen, L. B., Owen, N., Goenka, S., et al. (2012). Evidence-based intervention in physical activity: Lessons from around the world. Lancet, 380(9838), 272–281.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60816-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Henrich, J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). The weirdest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33(2–3), 61–83.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X0999152X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Holt, N. L., Kingsley, B. C., Tink, L. N., & Scherer, J. (2011). Benefits and challenges associated with sport participation by children and parents from low-income families. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 12(5), 490–499.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2011.05.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 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
  34. 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.
  35. Janssen, I., & LeBlanc, A. G. (2010). Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 7(1), 40–55.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-7-40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 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
  37. 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.
  38. Kumar, S., Yashoda, H. T., Mohan, K. N., & Srinivasa, S. (2015). Food, exercise and life style changes among overweight or obese children in urban population. International Journal of Contemporary Pediatrics, 2(4), 361–366.  https://doi.org/10.18203/2349-3291.ijcp20150975.Google Scholar
  39. Ladd, G. W. (1999). Peer relationships and social competence during early and middle childhood. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 333–359.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.50.1.333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ladd, G. W. (2005). Children’s peer relations and social competence: A century of progress. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Mackelvie, K. J., Khan, K. M., & Mckay, H. A. (2002). Is there a critical period for bone response to weight-bearing exercise in children and adolescents? A systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 36(4), 250–257.  https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.36.4.250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mavroveli, S., Petrides, K. V., Rieffe, C., & Bakker, F. (2007). Trait emotional intelligence, psychological well-being and peer-rated social competence in adolescence. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 25(2), 263–275.  https://doi.org/10.1348/026151006X118577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. McAuley, E., Blissmer, B., Marquez, D. X., Jerome, G. J., Kramer, A. F., & Katula, J. (2000). Social relations, physical activity, and well-being in older adults. Preventive Medicine, 31(5), 608–617.  https://doi.org/10.1006/pmed.2000.0740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McFall, R. M. (1982). A review and reformulation of the concept of social skills. Behavioral Assessment, 4(1), 1–33.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01321377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 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
  46. Newland, L. A., Giger, J. T., Lawler, M. J., Carr, E. R., Dykstra, E. A., & Roh, S. (2014). Subjective well-being for children in a rural community. Journal of Social Service Research, 40(5), 642–661.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01488376.2014.917450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Oyserman, D., Coon, H. M., & Kemmelmeier, M. (2002). Rethinking individualism and collectivism: Evaluation of theoretical assumptions and meta-analyses. Psychological Bulletin, 128(1), 3–72.  https://doi.org/10.1037//0033-2909.128.1.3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Peck, R., & Devore, J. (2012). Statistics: The exploration and analysis of data (pp. 515–572). Boston: Cengage Learning.Google Scholar
  49. 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
  50. Pinquart, M., & Sörensen, S. (2000). Influences of socioeconomic status, social network, and competence on subjective well-being in later life: A meta-analysis. Psychology and Aging, 15(2), 187–224.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.15.2.187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Poon, C. Y. M., & Fung, H. H. (2008). Physical activity and psychological well-being among Hong Kong Chinese older adults: Exploring the moderating role of self-construal. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 66(1), 1–19.  https://doi.org/10.2190/AG.66.1.a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Postmes, T., Haslam, S. A., & Jans, L. (2013). A single-item measure of social identification: Reliability, validity, and utility. British Journal of Social Psychology, 52(4), 597–617.  https://doi.org/10.1111/bjso.12006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 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
  54. Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2008). Asymptotic and resampling strategies for assessing and comparing indirect effects in multiple mediator models. Behavior Research Methods, 40(3), 879–891.  https://doi.org/10.3758/BRM.40.3.879.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Pritchard, M. E., Wilson, G. S., & Yamnitz, B. (2007). What predicts adjustment among college students? A longitudinal panel study. Journal of American College Health, 56(1), 15–22.  https://doi.org/10.3200/JACH.56.1.15-22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 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.Google Scholar
  57. Rice, K. G., Cunningham, T. J., & Young, M. B. (1997). Attachment to parents, social competence, and emotional well-being: A comparison of black and white late adolescents. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 44(1), 89–101.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0167.44.1.89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rigby, K. (2000). Effects of peer victimization in schools and perceived social support on adolescent well-being. Journal of Adolescence, 23(1), 57–68.  https://doi.org/10.1006/jado.1999.0289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Riner, W. F., & Sellhorst, S. H. (2013). Physical activity and exercise in children with chronic health conditions. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2(1), 12–20.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2012.11.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Robins, R. W., Hendin, H. M., & Trzesniewski, K. H. (2001). Measuring global self-esteem: Construct validation of a single-item measure and the Rosenberg self-esteem scale. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27(2), 151–161.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167201272002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Salmon, P. (2001). Effects of physical exercise on anxiety, depression, and sensitivity to stress: A unifying theory. Clinical Psychology Review, 21(1), 33–61.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0272-7358(99)00032-X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 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
  63. 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
  64. Stathi, A., Fox, K. R., & McKenna, J. (2002). Physical activity and dimensions of subjective well-being in older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 10(1), 76–92.  https://doi.org/10.1123/japa.10.1.76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 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
  66. Tomporowski, P. D., McCullick, B., Pendleton, D. M., & Pesce, C. (2015). Exercise and children’s cognition: The role of exercise characteristics and a place for metacognition. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 4(1), 47–55.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2014.09.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 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
  68. 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
  69. 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
  70. Wanous, J. P., Reichers, A. E., & Hudy, M. J. (1997). Overall job satisfaction: How good are single-item measures? Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(2), 247–252.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.82.2.247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 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.
  72. 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.Google Scholar
  73. 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.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental HealthPeking UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyTsinghua UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations