Early adolescent girls' psychosocial health in the light of their sports activity behavior

Noémi Keresztes, Bettina F. Piko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The lack of sports activity and its impact on public health is a serious concern in modern society, while its benefical effects are indicated by many empirical researches. Besides many somatic health benefits, physical activity is closely related to higher level of psychosocial health, psychological well-being, positive mood and mental health. Sports activity behavior is established during late childhood and early adolescence, similar to other health behaviors. While regular sports activity is a natural part of children's lifestyle, it starts to decrease during adolescence, particularly among girls, and therefore, they are an important target group to get involved in health promotion programs. The main goal of our present study is to analyze early adolescent girls' psychosocial health in the light of their sports activity behavior. Our data collection was going on among elementary school girls (N=247) living in Szeged, Hungary, by using a self-administered questionnaire. Data suggest that in this age period most of them regularly take part in sports activity. In their choice of sports type, primarily they prefer individual sports. In terms of individual sports, they prefer dancing and running. The most popular team sports are the following among them: handball and basketball. Among psychosomatic symptoms, headache, low-back pain and chronic fatigue are the most frequent. We have pointed out that in their psychosocial health, sports activity plays an important role. Girls who take part in regular sports activity and are engaged in sports activity at a higher level or in an organized sports club indicate their own health and fitness higher, have lower levels of psychosomatic symptoms. More active girls also tended to avoid regular smoking and drinking and watched for their diet more often. In addition, subjective factors of sports activity (e.g., liking sports and evaluating sports as important) may also contribute to develop motivations towards regular sports activity. Our findings suggest that the role of sports activity behavior in psychosocial health is an important focus of research. These research results may be useful in health promotion programs targeted adolescent girls.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Exercise and Women's Health Research
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages255-269
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781604560145
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2008

Keywords

  • Early adolescents
  • Girls
  • Psychosocial health
  • Sports activity behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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    Keresztes, N., & Piko, B. F. (2008). Early adolescent girls' psychosocial health in the light of their sports activity behavior. In Progress in Exercise and Women's Health Research (pp. 255-269). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..