We all know that sport is good for us physically.
But new research by Notre Dame’s Institute for Health Research has found that motor coordination development is also linked to higher self-esteem and averting stress – especially for teenage girls.
PhD candidate Amanda Timler found that women with low motor coordination had the greatest barriers to developing a healthy self-image. They also reported higher levels of stress and pressure about their future goals..
“Women compared themselves negatively to others on many occasions and experienced fractured friendships. We also found that most parents only had a moderate understanding of their child’s level of motor coordination, especially those with daughters,” she said.
In the study 160 adolescents aged between 14-16 years completed three surveys about their self-perception and identity development. Parents of adolescents with low motor coordination were also surveyed.
The survey results also showed that peer groups and social support levels were influential factors in the construction of an adolescent’s identity.
“Parents should be encouraged to ensure their son or daughter is involved in a range of social activities that are of interest to them and provide the opportunity to develop effective and robust peer relationships,” Ms Timler said.
“Parents can help by providing their children with positive reassurance and support towards their future goals and allow them to explore their interests across a range of social settings. They also need to provide their children with a level of independence so they can develop their own unique identity.”
You can read more about this research here. Story credit: Notre Dame newsroom
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