This study evaluated direct and indirect associations between aerobic fitness, executive control, and emotion regulation among a community sample of preadolescent children.Methods
Two-hundred and seventy-eight children aged 8-12 years completed measures of aerobic fitness (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run) and executive control (Stroop Test). Parents completed questionnaires assessing child emotion regulation and executive control (Emotion Regulation Checklist; Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire). We evaluated associations between these constructs using structural equation modeling.Results
Study findings supported a moderate direct association between childhood aerobic fitness and executive control, a strong direct negative association between executive control and emotion regulation, and a moderate indirect association between aerobic fitness and emotion regulation through executive control.Conclusions
These findings provide preliminary evidence that executive control functions as a mediator between aerobic fitness and emotion regulation and may help explain the mechanism by which aerobic exercise influences emotional well-being among preadolescent children.