The Relationship between Regular Sports Participation and Vigilance in Male and Female Adolescents
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AuthorBallester, Rafael; Huertas, Florentino; Yuste, Francisco Javier; Llorens, Francesc; Sanabria Lucena, Daniel
Public Library of Science (PLOS)
SportsPhysical fitnessVigilance (Psychology)Human performanceAdolescentsCognitionChildrenVigilance decrement
Ballester, R.; et al. The Relationship between Regular Sports Participation and Vigilance in Male and Female Adolescents. Plos One, 10(4): e0123898 (2015). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/36668]
SponsorshipThis research was supported by a Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Cultura (https://sede. educacion.gob.es) predoctoral grant (FPU13-05605) to the first author, and project research grants: Junta de Andalucia Proyecto de Excelencia SEJ-6414 (http://www.juntadeandalucia.es) and Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad PSI2013-46385 (http://www.mineco.gob.es) to DS and FH.
The present study investigated the relationship between regular sport participation (soccer) and vigilance performance. Two groups of male and female adolescents differentiated in terms of their sport participation (athletes, n = 39, and non-athletes, n = 36) took part in the study. In one session, participants performed the Leger Multi-stage fitness test to estimate their aerobic fitness level. In the other session, participants completed the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) to evaluate their vigilance performance. Perceived arousal prior to the task and motivation toward the task were also measured in the PVT session. The results revealed that athletes had better cardiovascular fitness and showed better performance in the PVT. However, correlation analyses did not show any significant relationship between cardiovascular fitness and performance in the PVT. Athletes showed larger scores in motivation and perceived arousal measures with respect to non-athletes, although, once again, these variables were not correlated with PVT performance. Gender differences were observed only in the Leger test, with males showing greater fitness level than females. The major outcome of this research points to a positive relationship between regular sport participation and vigilance during adolescence. This relationship did not seem to be influenced by gender, perceived arousal, motivation toward the task or cardiovascular fitness. We discuss our results in terms of the different hypotheses put forward in the literature to explain the relationship between physical activity and cognitive functioning.