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Children involved in team sports show superior executive function compared to their peers involved in self-paced sports

(2021) CHILDREN-BASEL. 8(4).
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Abstract
Children’s motor and cognitive functions develop rapidly during childhood. Physical activity and executive function are intricately linked during this important developmental period, with physical activity interventions consistently proving to benefit children’s executive function. However, it is less clear which type of physical activity shows the strongest associations with executive function in children. Therefore, this study compared executive function performance of children aged 8 to 12 that either participated in team sports or self-paced sports or were not involved in any kind of organized sports (non-athletes). Results demonstrate that children participating in team sports show superior executive function compared to children participating in self-paced sports and non-athletes. Importantly, children participating in self-paced sports do not outperform non-athletes when it comes to executive function. This study is the first to show that even at a very young age, team sports athletes outperform athletes from self-paced sports as well as non-athletes on a multifaceted and comprehensive test battery for executive function. Furthermore, our findings support the hypothesis that cognitively engaging physical activity, such as participation in team sports, might show stronger associations with executive functioning compared to other types of sports and physical activity.
Keywords
executive function, athletes, development, children

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MLA
De Waelle, Silke, et al. “Children Involved in Team Sports Show Superior Executive Function Compared to Their Peers Involved in Self-Paced Sports.” CHILDREN-BASEL, vol. 8, no. 4, 2021, doi:10.3390/children8040264.
APA
De Waelle, S., Laureys, F., Lenoir, M., Bennett, S. J., & Deconinck, F. (2021). Children involved in team sports show superior executive function compared to their peers involved in self-paced sports. CHILDREN-BASEL, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.3390/children8040264
Chicago author-date
De Waelle, Silke, Felien Laureys, Matthieu Lenoir, Simon J. Bennett, and Frederik Deconinck. 2021. “Children Involved in Team Sports Show Superior Executive Function Compared to Their Peers Involved in Self-Paced Sports.” CHILDREN-BASEL 8 (4). https://doi.org/10.3390/children8040264.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Waelle, Silke, Felien Laureys, Matthieu Lenoir, Simon J. Bennett, and Frederik Deconinck. 2021. “Children Involved in Team Sports Show Superior Executive Function Compared to Their Peers Involved in Self-Paced Sports.” CHILDREN-BASEL 8 (4). doi:10.3390/children8040264.
Vancouver
1.
De Waelle S, Laureys F, Lenoir M, Bennett SJ, Deconinck F. Children involved in team sports show superior executive function compared to their peers involved in self-paced sports. CHILDREN-BASEL. 2021;8(4).
IEEE
[1]
S. De Waelle, F. Laureys, M. Lenoir, S. J. Bennett, and F. Deconinck, “Children involved in team sports show superior executive function compared to their peers involved in self-paced sports,” CHILDREN-BASEL, vol. 8, no. 4, 2021.
@article{8702076,
  abstract     = {{Children’s motor and cognitive functions develop rapidly during childhood. Physical activity and executive function are intricately linked during this important developmental period, with physical activity interventions consistently proving to benefit children’s executive function. However, it is less clear which type of physical activity shows the strongest associations with executive function in children. Therefore, this study compared executive function performance of children aged 8 to 12 that either participated in team sports or self-paced sports or were not involved in any kind of organized sports (non-athletes). Results demonstrate that children participating in team sports show superior executive function compared to children participating in self-paced sports and non-athletes. Importantly, children participating in self-paced sports do not outperform non-athletes when it comes to executive function. This study is the first to show that even at a very young age, team sports athletes outperform athletes from self-paced sports as well as non-athletes on a multifaceted and comprehensive test battery for executive function. Furthermore, our findings support the hypothesis that cognitively engaging physical activity, such as participation in team sports, might show stronger associations with executive functioning compared to other types of sports and physical activity.}},
  articleno    = {{264}},
  author       = {{De Waelle, Silke and Laureys, Felien and Lenoir, Matthieu and Bennett, Simon J. and Deconinck, Frederik}},
  issn         = {{2227-9067}},
  journal      = {{CHILDREN-BASEL}},
  keywords     = {{executive function,athletes,development,children}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{4}},
  pages        = {{12}},
  title        = {{Children involved in team sports show superior executive function compared to their peers involved in self-paced sports}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/children8040264}},
  volume       = {{8}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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