Psychosocial stressors and health behaviors: Examining sleep, sedentary behaviors, and physical activity in a low-income pediatric sample

Alyssa Lundahl, Timothy D. Nelson, Tori R. Van Dyk, Tiffany West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. To better understand the relationship between psychosocial stressors and health behaviors in a low-income pediatric sample. Method. Participants were 122 children (8-11 years old, 53.3% female) and their parents recruited from a low-income primary care clinic. Measures assessed child stressors and parental financial strain, and child sleep problems, sedentary behaviors, and physical activity. Results. Parental financial strain and child stressors were independently associated with sleep problems and sedentary behaviors, controlling for age and gender. Though stressors in general accounted for significant variance in physical activity, results indicate a complex relationship as parental financial strain predicted more physical activity and child stressors predicted less physical activity. Conclusion. Stressors are associated with adverse pediatric health behaviors. Consequently, chronic stressors could negatively affect long-term health, and interventions targeting stressors and health behaviors are indicated. Pediatric health care providers play a key role in promoting health behaviors among youth experiencing significant psychosocial stressors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-729
Number of pages9
JournalClinical pediatrics
Volume52
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • pediatric health behaviors
  • physical activity
  • sedentary behaviors
  • sleep
  • stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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