Faculté des lettres

The Swiss Preschoolers’ health study (SPLASHY) : objectives and design of a prospective multi-site cohort study assessing psychological and physiological health in young children

Messerli-Bürgy, Nadine ; Kakebeeke, Tanja H. ; Arhab, Amar ; Stülb, Kerstin ; Zysset, Annina E. ; Leeger-Aschmann, Claudia S. ; Schmutz, Einat A. ; Fares, Fady ; Meyer, Andrea H. ; Munsch, Simone ; Kriemler, Susi ; Jenni, Oskar G. ; Puder, Jardena J.

In: BMC Pediatrics, 2016, vol. 16, no. 85, p. 1-16

Background: Children’s psychological and physiological health can be summarized as the child’s thinking, feeling, behaving, eating, growing, and moving. Children’s psychological and physiological health conditions are influenced by today’s life challenges: Thus, stress exposure and lack of physical activity represent important health challenges in older children. However, corresponding... More

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    Summary
    Background: Children’s psychological and physiological health can be summarized as the child’s thinking, feeling, behaving, eating, growing, and moving. Children’s psychological and physiological health conditions are influenced by today’s life challenges: Thus, stress exposure and lack of physical activity represent important health challenges in older children. However, corresponding evidence for young children is scarce. The aim of Swiss Preschoolers’ Health Study (SPLASHY) is to examine the role of stress and physical activity on children’s psychological and physiological health, particularly on cognitive functioning, psychological well-being, adiposity and motor skills in children at an early stage of childhood. We will also assess the role of child and environmental characteristics and aim to define sensitive time points. Methods/design: In a total of 84 child care centers, children at preschool age (2–6 years) are recruited and are assessed immediately and one year later. Assessments include direct measurements of the children in the child care centers and at home as well as assessments of children’s behavior and environmental factors through informants (parents and child care educators). Discussion: SPLASHY is one of the first studies in early childhood aiming to investigate the influence of stress and physical activity on children’s psychological and physiological health in a community-based longitudinal design.