Physical activity, well-being and needs satisfaction in eight and nine-year-old children from areas of socio-economic disadvantage

Gavin Breslin, Stephen Shannon, Ben Fitzpatrick, Donncha Hanna, Sarah-Jane Belton, Deirdre Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: Need-supportive environments have been shown to contribute to children’s physical activity levels, and in a few cases, well-being. Grounded in Self-Determination Theory (SDT), the aim of this study was to determine the influence of psychological needs (competence and social relatedness) satisfaction on physical activity levels and well-being in children from areas of social and economic disadvantage.
Method: A total of 211 children aged 8-9 years from areas of low socio-economic status wore an accelerometer for one week, and completed a questionnaire assessing psychological needs satisfaction and well-being. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and path analysis was conducted to assess the factor structure of the measures, and test for theory predicting significant relationships between psychological needs, physical activity and well-being.
Results: The factor structure of the instruments was supported, and a significant positive relationship was found between athletic competence and physical activity (β=.19). Athletic competence (β=.19), along with parental relatedness (β=.32), positively predicted children’s well-being. Physical activity alone, did not predict well-being
Conclusions: Practitioners may want to consider components of SDT, reflective of need-supportive environments, when designing physical activity interventions. Interventions aimed at supporting children’s perceptions of competence, and the involvement of parents, may offer the opportunity to increase well-being.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChild Care in Practice
Early online date03 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 03 Apr 2017

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