Results from “Popularity and Friendships and Their Relationship to Physical Activity Before and After Transition to a Higher School grade“.
Swanson, K., Nettel-Aquirre, A., & McCormack, G.R.
Peer relationships and physical activity
Social environments affect the health-related behaviours of children (1). Aspects of peer relationships, such as popularity (the number of incoming friendship nominations), the number of outgoing friendship nominations, and the physical activity levels of friends can influence a child’s physical activity behaviour (1,2). The start of a new school year can be a factor in modifying behaviours that contribute to mental health and wellbeing; however few studies have investigated the effects on physical activity (3). This study investigated the influence and magnitude by which peer relationships affect a child’s physical activity behaviour during the transition to a higher grade within the same school.
Influence on a child’s physical activity levels
Following the transition to a higher grade, the average participation in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity by friends and the number of friends that a child identified with was positively associated with their own physical activity levels. Though popularity was found to influence a child’s physical activity behaviour prior to the start of a new school year, no associations were found post-transition. Similar relationships were found for both boys and girls. Overall, peer relationships can influence the physical activity of a child during the transition to a higher school grade.
Suggested Citation: Swanson, K. C., Nettel-Aguirre, A., & McCormack, G. R. (2019). Popularity and Friendships and Their Relationship to Physical Activity Before and After Transition to a Higher School Grade. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 16, 2782. doi:10.3390/ijerph16152782
Written by Emma Chong, Bkin; Posted on June 12th, 2020
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