Memories of school recess predict physical activity enjoyment and social-emotional well-being in adults

  • Psychology of Sport and Exercise
  • April 20, 2021

William V.Massey, Alexandra Szarabajko, Janelle Thalken, Deanna Perez, Sean P. Mullen

This study examined adults’ memories of their recess experience and how they are associated with various aspects of adulthood, such as social isolation, meaning, and purposes, physical activity enjoyment.

Key findings included:
  • Memories of recess exclusion were associated with social isolation in adulthood.
  • Memories of recess enjoyment were associated with meaning and purpose in adulthood.
  • Memories of recess enjoyment were associated with physical activity enjoyment in adulthood.
  • Recess had an indirect effect on adult physical activity via physical activity enjoyment.
The associations continue to strengthen the case that “not only are early PA environments important for future PA attitudes and behaviors, but early PA environments also help shape social and emotional well-being.”

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