Early Predictors of Physical Activity and Academic Achievement in Middle School
Children and adults spend the majority of their waking time engaged in sedentary activities. These activities may be affecting the child's physical and mental health. Little research exists on the relationship between the amount of physical activity, screen time, and academic achievement as a predictor for later physical activity and academic achievement. This study examined physical activity, screen time, and academic achievement predictors and the relationship on adolescent physical activity and academic achievement. Data for this investigation were drawn from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-K) and focused on 9,096 children who completed physical activity questions in eighth grade. The findings indicate that there were significant, positive relationships between reading and math skills. Additionally, there were significant relationships between kindergarten predictor variables. These predictor variables also all significantly contributed to physical activity participation in eighth grade. Similar to previous research, the current study found that children who scored high on reading and math assessment in kindergarten were more likely to continue to score high on reading and math in eighth grade. Policy recommendations for education and future research implications are discussed.
East Carolina University