Physical Activity Participation in Kindergarten and Children’s Cognitive and Academic Ability Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Wretman, Christopher
    • Affiliation: School of Social Work
  • Promoting physical activity (PA) among children is a key research area of interest. Recently, there has been a desire to expand research linking PA and positive child development to two specific areas. First, there is a need to translate the longstanding and evidence-based findings for PA among adolescents to younger populations of children including those in the kindergarten years (ages 4 to 6). Second, there is a need to apply a social justice perspective to the PA disparities found among underserved children to develop nuanced evidence regarding how PA behaviors and outcomes may vary across sub-groups of children. This dissertation aligns itself with these recent PA research efforts. Specifically, it seeks to further evidence regarding how PA participation manifests among children in the kindergarten years, with particular foci on (a) its potential to increase cognitive and academic outcomes and (b) its varying effects for different children. As such, this dissertation exists at the intersection of social work, public health, and education. The first analysis is an examination of PA behaviors across 10 different sub-types with a secondary focus on what demographic characteristics may be associated with participation in each form. The second analysis is an examination of whether schools’ provision of PA in the form of physical education and recess is associated with students’ cognitive and academic ability. Finally, the third analysis is a meditational examination of whether parent’s enrollment of their children in organized PA is associated with cognitive and academic ability.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Lambert, Michael
  • Ward, Dianne
  • Richman, Jack
  • Rose, Roderick
  • Bowen, Gary
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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