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.
- pediatric health behaviors
- physical activity
- sedentary behaviors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health