Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2020) 19, 364 - 373

Research article
Cognitive Performance, Quality and Quantity of Movement Reflect Psychological Symptoms in Adolescents
Maedeh Mansoubi1,2,3, , Benjamin David Weedon1,2, Patrick Esser1,2,3, Nancy Mayo5, Mina Fazel5, Will Wade6, Tomas E Ward7, Steve Kemp8, Anne Delextrat1,2, Helen Dawes1,2,3
Author Information
1 Centre for Movement, Occupational and Rehabilitation Science (MOReS), Oxford Brookes University, UK
2 Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Research (OxINMAHR), UK
3 Oxford Clinical Allied Technology and Trial Services Unit (OxCATTS), UK
4 McGill University, School of Physical & Occupational Therapy, UK
5 University of Oxford, Department of Psychiatry, Medical Science division, UK
6 Ace Centre, UK
7 Insight Centre for Data Analytics, Dublin City University, UK
8 British Fencing, Oxford, UK

Maedeh Mansoubi
✉ Centre for Movement, Occupational and Rehabilitation Science (MOReS), Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane, Oxford, OX3 0BP, UK
Publish Date
Received: 14-01-2020
Accepted: 04-02-2020
Published (online): 01-05-2020
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The presentation of unhealthy psychological symptoms are rising sharply in adolescents. Detrimental lifestyle behaviours are proposed as both possible causes and consequences. This study set out to compare selected measures of quality and quantity of movement between adolescents with and without unhealthy psychological symptoms. Using a cross sectional design, 96 participants completed the study from a whole year group of 166, age (13.36 ± 0.48) male 50.6% from a secondary school in Oxfordshire, England as a part of a larger study (EPIC) between January and April 2018. Measures were taken of quality and quantity of movement: reaction/movement time, gait pattern & physical activity, alongside psychological symptoms. Differences in movement behaviour in relation to psychological symptom and emotional problem presentation were determined using ANOVA. In the event of a significant result for the main factor of each parameter, a Bonferroni -corrected post hoc test was conducted to show the difference between categories in each group. Results for both unhealthy psychological symptoms and emotional problems were grouped into four categories (‘Close to average’, ‘slightly raised’, ‘high’ and ‘very high’). Early adolescents with very high unhealthy psychological symptoms had 16.79% slower reaction times (p = 0.003, ηp2 = 0.170), 13.43% smaller walk ratio (p = 0.007, ηp2 = 0.152), 7.13% faster cadence (p = 0.005, ηp2 = 0.149), 6.95% less step time (p = 0.007, ηp2 = 0.153) and 1.4% less vigorous physical activity (p = 0.04, ηp2 = 0.102) than children with close to average psychological symptoms. Early adolescents with very high emotional problems had 12.25% slower reaction times (p = 0.05, ηp2 = 0.081), 10.61% smaller walk ratio (p = 0.02, ηp2 = 0.108), 6.03% faster cadence (p = 0.01, ηp2 = 0.134), 6.07% shorter step time (p = 0.007, ηp2 = 0.141) and 1.78% less vigorous physical activity (p = 0.009, ηp2 = 0.136) than children with close to average emotional problems. Different movement quality and quantity of was present in adolescents with unhealthy psychological symptoms and emotional problems. We propose movement may be used to both monitor symptoms, and as a novel therapeutic behavioural approach. Further studies are required to confirm our findings.

Key words: Psychological symptoms, emotion, reaction time, gait, Flanker, physical activity, adolescents

           Key Points
  • Early adolescents with psychological symptoms have slower movement behaviour compared with other early adolescents
  • Quality and quantity of Movement as measured by reaction time, gait or physical activity may be used to monitor psychological symptoms
  • Focusing in quality and quantity of movement may be a novel therapeutic target for improving psychological symptoms in early adolescents.
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