UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The Impact of Financial and Psychological Wellbeing on Children’s Physical Activity and Screen-Based Activities during the COVID-19 Pandemic Mâsse, Louise C.; Edache, Iyoma Y.; Pitblado, Mark; Hutchison, Sarah M.

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the public health measures to combat it, have strained the finances of many families. While parents transitioned to working from home, children transitioned to learning virtually, limiting their organized social and physical activities. Families also reduced the frequency and size of gatherings, impacting psychological wellbeing. This study sought to understand the influence of financial wellbeing on children’s physical activity and leisure screen-based activities via mothers’ and children’s psychological wellbeing. In May and June of 2020, 254 Grade 7 Canadian children and their mothers completed separate online surveys assessing family financial wellbeing, mothers’ and children’s psychological wellbeing, and children’s physical activity and leisure screen-based activities. Structural equation modelling was used to examine the indirect effects of mothers’ and children’s psychological wellbeing on the relationship between financial wellbeing and children’s physical activity and leisure screen-based activities. Final models were adjusted for potential confounders. Study results indicate a significant indirect association between financial wellbeing and children’s physical activity and leisure screen-based activities via mothers’ and children’s psychological wellbeing. These findings demonstrate that higher levels of financial wellbeing are associated with better mental and physical health benefits in children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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CC BY 4.0

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