Thursday, May 1, 2014

Physical Fitness Tied to Academic Performance of Middle School Boys and Girls

This study examined the influence of physical and psychosocial variables on math and reading achievement test scores. Between 1 and 5 months prior to taking annual standardized reading and math tests, a sample of (N = 1,211) sixth through eight graders (53.7% girls; 57.2% White) self-reported levels of physical activity, academic self-beliefs, general self-esteem, and social support and participated in objective testing to obtain measures of body composition (body mass index [BMI]) and cardiorespiratory fitness. Socioeconomic status (SES) and state-based reading and math achievement test scores were provided by the school district. 

Regression analyses revealed that SES, academic self-beliefs, and cardiorespiratory fitness were the consistent predictors of the students’ performance in reading and math; perceived social support from family and friends and higher levels of self-esteem were related to higher reading scores for the boys only.

The findings support schools re-examining policies that have limited students’ involvement in physical education classes.

No comments: