Mens sana in corpore sano: gli studenti più attivi sono gli studenti migliori? Una rassegna di ricerche psicologiche sulla relazione tra attività motoria e performance scolastica ed accademica

Serena Giunta, Giuseppe Mannino, Giuliana La Fiura, Veronica Montefiori, Calogero Iacolino, Monica Pellerone, Cinzia Novara, Antonino Bernardone, Erika Faraci, Rita Pillitteri, Marta Schiera

Abstract


Mens sana in corpore sano: the most active students are the best students? A Review of Psychological Research on the Relationship between Physical Activity and Scholastic and/or Academic Performance

Literature considers physical activity and sport as key elements for a healthy lifestyle, producing not only physical but also psychic well-being. However, a not very investigated element is the presence of a possible relationship between school or academic performance and the participation in physical activity and sport in groups of pre-adolescents and adolescents. In order to clarify the complex relationship between mind and body in pre-adolescence and adolescence, this piece of work analyzes, in a first part, the causal and direct relationship between sport activity and performance; in a second part, it describes how this relationship can be mediated by the sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy; and finally, the last part investigates the relationship between group sport practice and school or academic performance. This article shows the presence of a significant relationship between physical activity, sport and academic performance, especially as far as logical-mathematical skills and Italian and English language learning abilities are concerned. What is more, this research points out that physical activity and sport determine an increase in the students’ self-esteem and self-efficacy, due to a better school performance.


Keyword


Physical and psychological well-being, physical activity, mind-body relationship, students, school/academic performance, sport

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