The effects of integrating children from lower and upper primary school years during lunch times on physical activity and social behavior
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AbstractThe present study examined physical activity (PA) and play behaviors of primary school children (N = 210) during segregated and mixed age group play. We hypothesised that providing more choice regarding who to play with would (1) increase PA and (2) reduce anti-social behaviors among children. In a mixed-method design, lunch time observations were recorded using the System for Observing Children’s Activity and Relationships during Play (SOCARP, Ridgers et al., 2010). These were completed whilst children were physically separated by lower (hereafter referred to as key-stage-one: four-seven years of age) and upper (hereafter referred to as key-stage-two: eight-11 years of age) primary year play, and following integrated age group play. Two playground supervisors and the head teacher were interviewed to ascertain perceptions of behavior under the two conditions. Observational results indicated moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) increased significantly for mixed play. Significant reductions in anti-social physical behaviors were also observed post-integration. Qualitative results indicate playground supervisors and the head teacher perceived increased post-integration PA to improve post lunch break classroom behavior and reduce anti-social physical and verbal behaviors. Findings illustrate the benefits of mixed age group play for increased physical activity and pro-social behaviors.
CitationDevonport, T., Powell, E., Nevill, A. and Brady, A. (2020) The effects of integrating children from lower and upper primary school years during lunch times on physical activity and social behavior, Journal of Sport Behavior 43(4), pp.405-425.
PublisherUnited States Sports Academy
JournalJournal of Sport Behavior
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published in Journal of Sport Behavior on 1 December 2020. The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/