Early-life activities mediate the association between family socioeconomic status in early childhood and physical fitness in early adolescence

Rosa S. WONG, Keith T. S. TUNG, Bianca N. K. CHAN, Frederick K. W. HO, Nirmala RAO, Ko Ling CHAN, Jin SUN, Hung Kwan SO, Wilfred H. S. WONG, Winnie W. Y. TSO, Jason C. S. YAM, Ian C. K. WONG, Patrick IP

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Abstract

The graded association between family socioeconomic status (SES) and physical fitness is evident, but little is known about the mechanism underlying this association. This study investigated the role of early-life activities as mediators of the longitudinal relationship between early-life SES and health-related physical fitness in 168 adolescents (51.2% boys; final mean age: 12.4 years old). In Wave 1 (2011–12), their parents completed questionnaires about family socioeconomic status (SES), parent–child activities, and child screen time. In Wave 2 (2014–15), participants’ physical activity levels were assessed through parent proxy-reports. In Wave 3 (2018–19), a direct assessment of handgrip strength, standing long-jump, and 6-min walk test (6MWT) performance was conducted. After controlling for demographic factors, results of mediation analyses revealed that (a) Wave 1 SES predicted Wave 3 long-jump and 6MWT performance; (b) child physical activity level in Wave 2 mediated the relation between Wave 1 SES and standing long-jump performance in Wave 3; and (c) recreational parent–child activities and child screen time in wave 1 mediated the relation between Wave 1 SES and 6MWT performance in Wave 3. Our findings suggest that the type and frequency of early-life activities play a role in the graded association between childhood SES and physical fitness in adolescence. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
Article number81
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Citation

Wong, R. S., Tung, K. T. S., Chan, B. N. K., Ho, F. K. W., Rao, N., Chan, K. L., . . . Ip, P. (2022). Early-life activities mediate the association between family socioeconomic status in early childhood and physical fitness in early adolescence. Scientific Reports, 12. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-03883-8

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