Executive control mediates the association between aerobic fitness and emotion regulation in preadolescent children

Mark A. Lott, Chad D. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective This study evaluated direct and indirect associations between aerobic fitness, executive control, and emotion regulation among a community sample of preadolescent children. Methods Two-hundred and seventy-eight children aged 8-12 years completed measures of aerobic fitness (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run) and executive control (Stroop Test). Parents completed questionnaires assessing child emotion regulation and executive control (Emotion Regulation Checklist; Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire). We evaluated associations between these constructs using structural equation modeling. Results Study findings supported a moderate direct association between childhood aerobic fitness and executive control, a strong direct negative association between executive control and emotion regulation, and a moderate indirect association between aerobic fitness and emotion regulation through executive control. Conclusions These findings provide preliminary evidence that executive control functions as a mediator between aerobic fitness and emotion regulation and may help explain the mechanism by which aerobic exercise influences emotional well-being among preadolescent children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-173
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Aerobic fitness
  • Emotion regulation
  • Executive control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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