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Psychophysiological Regulation and Classroom Climate Influence First and Second Graders’ Well-Being: The Role of Body Mass Index

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Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialization, University of Padova, Via Venezia, 8, 35151 Padova, Italy
2
Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Via Venezia, 8, 35151 Padova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: José Carmelo Adsuar Sala and María del Mar Molero Jurado
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2021, 11(4), 1581-1598; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11040112
Received: 26 October 2021 / Revised: 26 November 2021 / Accepted: 30 November 2021 / Published: 3 December 2021
This study examines the associations between physical and emotional well-being and classroom climate, cardiac vagal response, and body mass index (BMI) in a sample of 6- to-8-year-olds. Specifically, we expected a direct link between classroom climate, vagal withdrawal, BMI and children’s physical and emotional comfort. Furthermore, we explored whether these individual and environmental characteristics influenced well-being in an interactive fashion. Participants were 142 (63 boys, 44%) first and second graders living in the North of Italy who were interviewed on their emotional and physical comfort. Heart rate and a measure of vagal influence on the heart (cardiac vagal tone) were recorded at rest and during an oral academic test. Height and weight were collected. Classroom climate was positively linked with physical well-being, whereas emotional well-being was negatively related with BMI. In addition, an inverted U-shaped effect of cardiac vagal withdrawal (i.e., cardiac vagal tone during stress minus resting vagal tone) on emotional well-being was found. Two regression models highlighted the role played by BMI when interacting with vagal withdrawal in predicting children’s physical and emotional well-being. The interplay between BMI and cardiac vagal withdrawal played an important role in primary school children’s well-being. From a clinical perspective, preventive training to improve autonomic regulation in concert with interventions promoting healthy eating attitudes might be critical for supporting primary school children’s emotional and physical health. View Full-Text
Keywords: physiological regulation; classroom climate; body mass index; well-being; heart rate variability; vagal withdrawal physiological regulation; classroom climate; body mass index; well-being; heart rate variability; vagal withdrawal
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MDPI and ACS Style

Scrimin, S.; Peruzza, M.; Mastromatteo, L.Y.; Patron, E. Psychophysiological Regulation and Classroom Climate Influence First and Second Graders’ Well-Being: The Role of Body Mass Index. Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2021, 11, 1581-1598. https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11040112

AMA Style

Scrimin S, Peruzza M, Mastromatteo LY, Patron E. Psychophysiological Regulation and Classroom Climate Influence First and Second Graders’ Well-Being: The Role of Body Mass Index. European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education. 2021; 11(4):1581-1598. https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11040112

Chicago/Turabian Style

Scrimin, Sara, Marta Peruzza, Libera Ylenia Mastromatteo, and Elisabetta Patron. 2021. "Psychophysiological Regulation and Classroom Climate Influence First and Second Graders’ Well-Being: The Role of Body Mass Index" European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education 11, no. 4: 1581-1598. https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11040112

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