This study examines the associations between physical and emotional well-being and classroom climate, cardiac vagal response, and body mass index (BMI) in a sample of 6-to-8-year-olds. Specifically, we expected a direct link between classroom climate, vagal withdrawal, BMI and children’s physical and emotional comfort. Furthermore, we explored whether these individual and environmental characteristics influenced well-being in an interactive fashion. Participants were 142 (63 boys, 44%) first and second graders living in the North of Italy who were interviewed on their emotional and physical comfort. Heart rate and a measure of vagal influence on the heart (cardiac vagal tone) were recorded at rest and during an oral academic test. Height and weight were collected. Classroom climate was positively linked with physical well-being, whereas emotional well-being was negatively related with BMI. In addition, an inverted U-shaped effect of cardiac vagal withdrawal (i.e., cardiac vagal tone during stress minus resting vagal tone) on emotional well-being was found. Two regression models highlighted the role played by BMI when interacting with vagal withdrawal in predicting children’s physical and emotional well-being. The interplay between BMI and cardiac vagal withdrawal played an important role in primary school children’s well-being. From a clinical perspective, preventive training to improve autonomic regulation in concert with interventions promoting healthy eating attitudes might be critical for supporting primary school children’s emotional and physical health.

Psychophysiological regulation and classroom climate influence first and second graders’ well-being: The role of body mass index

Scrimin S.
;
Peruzza M.;Mastromatteo L. Y.;Patron E.
2021

Abstract

This study examines the associations between physical and emotional well-being and classroom climate, cardiac vagal response, and body mass index (BMI) in a sample of 6-to-8-year-olds. Specifically, we expected a direct link between classroom climate, vagal withdrawal, BMI and children’s physical and emotional comfort. Furthermore, we explored whether these individual and environmental characteristics influenced well-being in an interactive fashion. Participants were 142 (63 boys, 44%) first and second graders living in the North of Italy who were interviewed on their emotional and physical comfort. Heart rate and a measure of vagal influence on the heart (cardiac vagal tone) were recorded at rest and during an oral academic test. Height and weight were collected. Classroom climate was positively linked with physical well-being, whereas emotional well-being was negatively related with BMI. In addition, an inverted U-shaped effect of cardiac vagal withdrawal (i.e., cardiac vagal tone during stress minus resting vagal tone) on emotional well-being was found. Two regression models highlighted the role played by BMI when interacting with vagal withdrawal in predicting children’s physical and emotional well-being. The interplay between BMI and cardiac vagal withdrawal played an important role in primary school children’s well-being. From a clinical perspective, preventive training to improve autonomic regulation in concert with interventions promoting healthy eating attitudes might be critical for supporting primary school children’s emotional and physical health.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3418081
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