THE ROLE OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ON EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIOURAL PROBLEMS, SELF-RATED HEALTH AND EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT AMONG ADOLESCENTS, ACTA UNIVERSITATIS OULUENSIS D Medica 1043
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Physical activity provides important physical health benefits for young people. However, theinformation on physical activity in association with various social, educational and mental healthfactors among adolescents is scarce. This study aimed to evaluate how physical activity is relatedto adolescents’ emotional and behavioural problems, self-rated health, educational attainment andparental socio-economic position, and how these factors interrelate with each other.
The study population consisted of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 (N=9432). Dataon physical activity, emotional and behavioural problems, self-rated health, educationalattainment and parental socio-economic position at age 15–16 years was collected by postalinquiries in 2001–2002. Logistic regression models were used to study the associations betweenthese factors.
High parental socio-economic position was associated with being physically active amongadolescents. Physical inactivity was related to emotional, social, thought and attention problems,and rule-breaking behaviour. Physical inactivity, emotional, behavioural and social problems, andlow parental socio-economic position were related to poor self-rated health. In addition, higherlevels of physical activity, fewer behavioural problems, and higher parental socio-economicposition were associated with high self-perceived academic performance and future plans forhigher education.
Physical inactivity during adolescence is associated with several emotional and behaviouralproblems, and poor self-rated health, whereas being physically active is related to highereducational attainment. Developmentally appropriate and enjoyable physical activity could havean important role in enhancing adolescents’ health, well-being, and educational attainment.