Associations of self-control with physical activity, physical fitness, and adiposity in adolescents

Boat, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4897-8118, Williams, R.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-1346-7756, Dring, K.J. ORCID: 0000-0002-9647-3579, Morris, J.G. ORCID: 0000-0001-6508-7897, Sunderland, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-7484-1345, Nevill, M.E. ORCID: 0000-0003-2498-9493 and Cooper, S.B. ORCID: 0000-0001-5219-5020, 2022. Associations of self-control with physical activity, physical fitness, and adiposity in adolescents. Behavioral Medicine. ISSN 0896-4289

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The associations between self-control and objective measures of physical activity, physical fitness, and adiposity are yet to be explored in young people; this is a gap in the literature that the present study aimed to address. The study employed a cross-sectional design. A total of 101 young people participated in the study. Participants completed the Brief Self-Control Scale as a measure of trait self-control. Free-living physical activity was assessed using an ActiGraph GT3X + triaxial accelerometer, which was worn for 7 days. Participants also completed the 15-meter version of the multistage fitness test as a measure of physical fitness. For the assessment of adiposity, three criterion measures were used: body mass index (BMI), sum of skinfolds, and waist circumference. Data were analyzed using the glm function in the open access software R. Higher levels of trait self-control were associated with higher levels of physical fitness (measured by distance run on the multistage fitness test) and lower adiposity (BMI, waist circumference, and sum of skinfolds) in adolescents. There was a tendency for a positive association between self-control and time spent in vigorous physical activity, although this did not reach statistical significance. In a combined model, self-control was also associated with both physical fitness and waist circumference, with these effects independent of each other. These findings suggest that self-control is associated with healthy behaviors and characteristics in adolescents and is thus potentially an attractive target for future interventions aimed at increasing physical activity and physical fitness and reducing adiposity in this population.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Behavioral Medicine
Creators: Boat, R., Williams, R.A., Dring, K.J., Morris, J.G., Sunderland, C., Nevill, M.E. and Cooper, S.B.
Publisher: Informa UK Limited
Date: 12 September 2022
ISSN: 0896-4289
Rights: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Behavioral Medicine on 12 Sep 2022 available at:
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 16 Sep 2022 09:49
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2023 03:00

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