Mindmasters 2: A 3-month evaluation of a physical activity-based resource on grade 3 children's social and emotional skills


Previous research on positive youth development has shown that the integration of school programs focusing on physical activity may aid with children's development of social and emotional skills such as emotional regulation, empathy, teamwork, and the ability to deal with adversity. MindMasters 2 is a physical activity-based school resource intended to improve children's social and emotional regulation skills. The purpose of this study was to evaluate MindMasters 2's efficacy on children's prosocial behaviours, concern for peers, self-perceptions, emotional skills, and relaxation skills. Ninety-eight grade 3 children were randomly allocated to either a control or experimental group, and evaluated before and after a 3-month implementation period. Children in the experimental group showed improved prosocial behaviours (p < .01), concerns for others (p = .02), and emotional skills (p < .01) over time, as well as improved relaxation levels (p < .01) after partaking in relaxation activities. Compared to the control group, experimental group's emotional skills were significantly better at post-test (p .05). Nested data analyses between classrooms and schools showed no main group effects on reported outcomes (p > .05). Results from this study indicate that MindMasters 2 may facilitate the development of children's social and emotional skills via physical activity. Future studies should strive for a longer implementation period in response to small effect sizes, taking into account target population, sample size, and persistence of effects over the lifespan and in different environmental contexts.

Acknowledgments: The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Terry Orlick for his support in this research study.