Associations between organised leisure-time activities and mental health problems in children

Mirte Boelens, Michel S. Smit, Dafna A. Windhorst, Harrie J. Jonkman, Clemens M.H. Hosman, Hein Raat, Wilma Jansen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Previous studies conducted mainly among adolescents have found associations between participation in sport organised leisure-time activities (OLTAs) and mental health problems (MHP). Fewer research studies have been performed to primary school-aged children and to organised non-sport OLTAs. Therefore, the objective is to examine whether there is an association between participation in sport and non-sport OLTAs and a high risk of MHP in 4- to 12-year-olds. Data were used on 5010 children from a cross-sectional population-based survey conducted between May and July 2018 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Associations between sport OLTAs, non-sport OLTAs and breadth of OLTAs and a high risk of MHP were explored using logistic regression models adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, stressful life events and physical activity. Of all children, 58% participated in sport OLTAs and 22% in non-sport OLTAs. The proportion of children with high risk of MHP among participants in sport OLTAs is smaller than among non-participants (OR 0.66, 95% CI: 0.53, 0.81). The proportion of children with high risk of MHP among participants in non-sport OLTAs is smaller than among non-participants (OR 0.69, 95% CI: 0.53, 0.91). The proportion of children with a high risk of MHP among participants in 1 category of OLTAs (OR 0.61, 95% CI: 0.49, 0.76) and in 2–5 categories of OLTAs (OR 0.48, 95% CI: 0.32, 0.71) is smaller than among non-participants. Conclusion: The proportion of children with high risk of MHP among participants in OLTAs is smaller than among non-participants.What is Known:• Around 10–-20% of children and adolescents experiences mental health problems.• Sport organised leisure-time activities have been found to be associated with a lower risk of mental health problems in adolescents.What is New:• The proportion of children with a high risk of mental health problems in participants in organised leisure-time activities is smaller than among non-participants.• The proportion of children with a high risk of mental health problems in participants with a higher breadth of organised leisure-time activities is smaller compared to non-participants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3867-3877
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Volume181
Issue number11
Early online date12 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by a research grant (project number: 531001313) from ZonMw, The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development. ZonMw has no role in any part of the research, writing and reviewing of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Associations between organised leisure-time activities and mental health problems in children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this