Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

We'd appreciate your feedback on this new experience.Tell us what you think(opens in new tab/window)

Elsevier
Publish with us
Press release

Physical Activity as an Effective Therapeutic Strategy for Improving Psychosocial Outcomes in Children and Adolescents

Washington, DC | February 12, 2024

A study(opens in new tab/window) in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP)(opens in new tab/window), published by Elsevier, found that physical activity (PA) interventions are effective in reducing psychological symptoms across diverse populations of children and adolescents, including those with various clinical conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cancer, depression, and obesity.

The researchers conducted an umbrella review, a type of systematic review that attempts to summarize the findings of prior meta-analyses on the breadth of impact of a particular intervention, or a comparison of different intervention for a particular condition. In this umbrella review, the authors summarized the evidence from 18 meta-analyses to assess the efficacy of physical activity (PA) interventions on psychosocial outcomes in children and adolescents struggling with different conditions, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, cancer, cerebral palsy, chronic respiratory diseases, depression, neuromotor impairment, and obesity.

Drawing from these 18 meta-analyses, the authors compiled data from 118 studies with a total of 21,232 children and adolescent participants. The authors found that PA interventions had small effects on psychosocial outcomes, but that many of the included studies were of low to moderate quality, limiting their ability to make definitive conclusions.

The research team emphasized the importance of including psychosocial outcomes in future randomized studies of PA interventions in children and adolescents, regardless of their physical and psychological conditions or disability. This study adds valuable insights to the ongoing discourse on the role of physical activity in promoting psychosocial well-being in younger populations.

Notes for editors

The article is "Umbrella Systematic Review and Meta-analysis: Physical Activity as an Effective Therapeutic Strategy for Improving Psychosocial Outcomes in Children and Adolescents," by Marianna Purgato, PsyD, PhD, Camilla Cadorin, PhD, candidate, Eleonora Prina, PhD, candidate, Madalena Cabral Ferreira, MD, Lidia Del Piccolo, PhD, Markus Gerber, PhD, Mark J.D. Jordans, PhD, Giovanni Ostuzzi, MD, PhD, Justin Richards, PhD, Doriana Rudi, MSc, Francesca Vitali, PhD, Samuele Cortese, MD, PhD, Federico Schena, MD, PhD, Corrado Barbui, MD (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2023.04.017). It appears in Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, volume 63 issue 2 (February 2024), published by Elsevier.

Copies of this paper are available to credentialed journalists upon request; please contact Marianna Purgato, PhD at [email protected].

About JAACAP

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry(opens in new tab/window) (JAACAP) is the official publication of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. JAACAP is the leading journal focusing exclusively on today's psychiatric research and treatment of the child and adolescent. Published twelve times per year, each issue is committed to its mission of advancing the science of pediatric mental health and promoting the care of youth and their families.

The Journal's purpose is to advance research, clinical practice, and theory in child and adolescent psychiatry. It is interested in manuscripts from diverse viewpoints, including genetic, epidemiological, neurobiological, cognitive, behavioral, psychodynamic, social, cultural, and economic. Studies of diagnostic reliability and validity, psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological treatment efficacy, and mental health services effectiveness are encouraged. The Journal also seeks to promote the well-being of children and families by publishing scholarly papers on such subjects as health policy, legislation, advocacy, culture and society, and service provision as they pertain to the mental health of children and families.

About Elsevier

As a global leader in information and analytics, Elsevier helps researchers and healthcare professionals advance science and improve health outcomes for the benefit of society. We do this by facilitating insights and critical decision-making for customers across the global research and health ecosystems. In everything we publish, we uphold the highest standards of quality and integrity. We bring that same rigor to our information analytics solutions for researchers, academic leaders, funders, R&D-intensive corporations, doctors, and nurses.

Elsevier employs 9,000 people worldwide, including over 2,500 technologists. We have supported the work of our research and health partners for more than 140 years. Growing from our roots in publishing, we offer knowledge and valuable analytics that help our users make breakthroughs and drive societal progress. Digital solutions such as ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath support strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, medical education, and nursing education. Researchers and healthcare professionals rely on over 2,900 digitized journals, including The Lancet(opens in new tab/window) and Cell(opens in new tab/window); 46,000+ eBook titles; and iconic reference works, such as Gray's Anatomy. With the Elsevier Foundation(opens in new tab/window) and our external Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Board, we work in partnership with diverse stakeholders to advance inclusion and diversity in science, research and healthcare in developing countries and around the world. 

Elsevier is part of  RELX(opens in new tab/window), a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

Contact

MP

Marianna Purgato

+390458124884 +393474967279

E-mail Marianna Purgato