ERIC Number: EJ1020648
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
Do the Duration and Frequency of Physical Education Predict Academic Achievement, Self-Concept, Social Skills, Food Consumption, and Body Mass Index?
Simms, Kathryn; Bock, Sara; Hackett, Lewis
Health Education Journal, v73 n2 p166-178 Mar 2014
Objective: Prior research on the efficacy of physical education has been conducted in a piecemeal fashion. More specifically, studies typically test a single benefit hypothesized to be associated with physical education (e.g. body mass index [BMI]) while excluding others (e.g. social skills) and not controlling for important confounds (e.g. diet). Such research designs have precluded a comprehensive evaluation of physical education, and may also help explain mixed findings reported in the literature. The purpose of this study, then, was to re-evaluate the efficacy of participation in physical education through a more robust model that considers BMI, academic achievement, self-concept, and social skills while controlling for poor diet and out-of-school activities (i.e. television viewing, sleep, and general activity levels). Design, Setting, and Method: Structural equation modelling (SEM) was conducted on data derived from a sample of 10,210 fifth graders in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. Results: Nationwide, 68% of fifth graders participated in physical education one or two days per week. Physical education was positively associated with academic achievement (effect size = 0.10), and negatively associated with both low self-concept (effect size = 0.06) and less healthy food choices (i.e. sugar-sweetened beverages, potatoes, and fast food; effect size = 0.11). However, participation in physical education was not associated with BMI or teacher-reported social skills. Conclusion: Even at the low "'dosages" reported, physical education is associated with improved mental health, dietary choices, and academic achievement.
Descriptors: Prediction, Eating Habits, Body Composition, Academic Achievement, Self Concept, Physical Education, Interpersonal Competence, Sleep, Television Viewing, Structural Equation Models, Grade 5, Elementary School Students, Longitudinal Studies, Correlation, Food, Mental Health, Factor Analysis, Goodness of Fit, Measures (Individuals)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 5; Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Self Description Questionnaire