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Revista Cubana de Medicina General Integral

versión impresa ISSN 0864-2125versión On-line ISSN 1561-3038

Rev Cubana Med Gen Integr vol.32 no.3 Ciudad de La Habana jul.-set. 2016




Recreation activities to improve social behavior. Study in children and adolescents aged 9-14


Actividades recreativas para mejorar la conducta social. Estudio en niños y adolescentes entre 9-14 años



Santiago Calero Morales; Angie Fernández Lorenzo; Francis Lenora Castillo de la Rosa

Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE. Ecuador.




Introduction: Social conduct is a behaviour aimed at the society and among members of the same species, having influence in the surrounding environment, where ludic actions may play a role .
The paper studies the effect of 15 recreational activities on the social behavior of children and adolescents in the Guamani neighborhood, south of the city of Quito, Republic of Ecuador.
Method: Using a sample of 25 subjects with various problems of social behavior, aged 9-14 years, the research strategy starts with the diagnosis of 12 indicators or aspects of social life and manifestations of conduct.
Results: The Friedman test determined the existence of significant differences between two (initial, p = 0.004, & final, p = 0.03) tests, with data obtained from the observation guides respectively, being the average ranks of the final tests, the best ones, demonstrating a significant difference between the initial and final test (p = 0.003) in the variable "Always" and the variable "Never" (p = 0.002) as determined by the Wilcoxon signed-rank test.
Conclusion: The research shows that recreational activities are a viable and efficient alternative to improve social behavior in the sample studied.

Keywords: recreational activities; social behavior; adolescents; Ecuador.


Introducción: La conducta social es un comportamiento dirigido hacia la sociedad entre miembros de una misma especie, influenciado por el entorno que rodea el sujeto, dónde puede influir la asociación lúdica.
Objetivo: La investigación estudia el efecto de 15 actividades o juegos recreativos alternativos en la conducta social de niños y adolescentes del barrio Guamani al sur de la ciudad de Quito, República del Ecuador.
Métodos: Utilizando una muestra de 25 sujetos con diversos problemas de conducta social, entre los 9-14 años de edad, la estrategia investigativa inicia al diagnosticarse 12 indicadores o aspectos de convivencia social y manifestaciones de la conducta.
Resultados: La prueba de Friedman determinó la existencia de diferencias significativas entre ambas pruebas (inicial, p=0,004, y final, p=0,03), con los datos obtenidos con la guías de observación respectivamente, siendo los rangos promedios de esta pruebas mejores en las pruebas finales, demostrando una diferencia significativa entre la prueba inicial y final (p=0,003) en la variable "Siempre" y la variable "Nunca" (p=0,002) , según se determinó con la Prueba de los Rangos con Signo de Wilcoxon.
Conclusiones: La investigación demuestra que las actividades recreativas fueron una alternativa viable y eficiente para mejorar el comportamiento social en la muestra estudiada.

Palabras clave: actividades recreativas; conducta social; adolescentes; Ecuador.



Preventive actions are conceived as a group of actions that include several disciplines interrelated in order to solve one or various problems. Nowadays, prevention has an extraordinary social significance 1,2,3, for which it constitutes a main guide in any direction process, not only in the work of ministries, but also in the community work in which different public and private institutions should be involved, in order to efficiently manage the prevention of the behaviour problems in early ages and carry out a comprehensive work when facing these situations.

Physical activity and sport are considered a preventive science of numerous illnesses 4,5,6,7. On this matter there are many studies such as the one carried out by Pancorbo & Pancorbo 8 on the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic conditions through physical activities with cardiovascular benefits; on the body dissatisfaction in teenagers and its relationship with the physical activity and the body mass index 9,10; on the health promotion 11; the role of physical education in schools dealing with obesity and overweight 12 and the incidence of the physical-sport practice against anxiety and depression 13,14,15, among others.

Social behavior is defined as the behavior or conduct aimed at the society and among members of the same species, influencing the social development. The standards of behaviour, feelings, attitudes and concepts showed by children towards the rest of the society have defined patterns 16, which change as they grow up 17.

At the moment to deal with a social condition caused by bad behaviour, the first thing to do is analyzing the subject from comprehensive points of view 18,19,20, and through an evaluation ex-ante the beginning of the process 21,22, determining the essential problem that derives from a specific treatment.

These ways of treatment to control or treat certain conducts derive from diverse sciences such as psychology 23,24 and also physical activity and sports 25,26.

Therefore, the science of physical activity and sport in general, and the implementation of a group of physical and recreational activities in particular, can improve several situations of social behaviour, being a novel and pertinent strategy to implement in the specific environment of the Ecuadorian mountain range, which will be undergone to study as a teaching-educative alternative and also as an enhancement of the social and body health.

This paper aims to determine the effect of 15 recreational activities as an alternative to improve the social behaviour of Ecuadorian children and teenagers.


The sample is made up of 25 children and teenagers aged 9-14 from Guamani neighborhood, southern Quito, Republic of Ecuador.

It will be used SPSS statistic v21 for the Friedman test and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, with a significance level of 0,05 and Microsoft Excel 2013 to obtain descriptive statistics, setting necessary correlations in several variables related to social coexistence and some behaviour aspects, as it is described below:




  1. Social coexistence

a) Use of the environment.

b) Level of communication with neighbors and partners.

c) Personal relationships.

  1. Behavior manifestations

a) Level of behavior during the activities.

b) Care of the school furniture.

c) Participation in activities.


The recreational activities designed and implemented for 10 months are the following (annexe):

Along with the program of recreational activities are included different actions derived from other areas, which include psychologists, sociologists, social workers and volunteers.



The observation guides determines the behaviour characteristics of the sample based on three levels (Always, Sometimes and Never). To set an example, in the case of question number 1 (They place in safe places for them and the rest of the people) only six teenagers (24 percent) always play in safe places; 32% (eight subjects) do it Sometimes and 44% Never. That shows substantial dangers for the recreational performance of the sample, since the lack of security favors more dangers for the social integrity of the subject (table 1).

Evaluation two (when communicating the voice is at a moderate tone) 20 % (five subjects) presents assessments of Always and Sometimes, respectively, and 15 subjects (60%) of Never. Despite that the people in Ecuador generally communicates in a low voice, specially in the mountain range, it has been established that the changes in the voice tone and the face gestures, under certain interactions with other people, is determinant enough to consider problems in the tones of the voice.

Evaluation three (They use a proper vocabulary and correct expressions) determined that two subjects do it Always (8%), six Sometimes (24%) and 17 subjects Never (68%). The level in the vocabulary and the accompanying expressions are recurrent symptoms of the educative level, it is vital to reinforce this aspect through recreational activities designed along with complementary actions that contribute to a short and medium term improvement of the indicator.

In evaluation four (During the activities their relationship is good and share things) was registered that two subjects Always have good relations (8%), four Sometimes (16%) and the rest Never (19 subjects: 76%), given the fact that one of the most relevant advantages of participating in recreational group activities is the increase of the social bonds among citizens, allowing interaction and mutual aid.

In evaluation five 5 (Do not harm each other either physically or verbally) are included physical and verbal aggressions both direct and indirectly. It was determined that seven subjects do it Always (28%), and indicator authors consider very high; 9 students do it Sometimes (36%) and the rest Never (9 subjects: 36%).

In the evaluations of indicator 6 (Do not bother their neighbors) was registered that nine subjects Always do it (36%) direct or indirectly, and for them is seen as a way of entertainment, an aspect to become aware of taking into account the problems that from the personal point of view lead the student to behave like that in his life. On the other hand, 10 subjects Sometimes disturb their fellow citizens and neighbors (40%), and 24% (6 students) Never do it.