Physical Attractiveness: Effects on Teacher Expectations and Dyadic Interactions in Elementary Age Children

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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Thomas J. MartinekUniversity of North Carolina at Greensboro

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This study describes the effects of physical attractiveness on teacher expectations and specific teacher-student interactions. Two physical education specialists and their classes served as subjects for the study. Graduate students (n = 30) were asked to rate 141 second, fourth, and sixth grade children from a black and white photo taken of each child. A total of 100 students, from the upper and lower thirds in each grade for both teachers, comprised the sample. Teacher expectations were determined by asking the teachers to rate students according to how they expected each to perform in terms of: (a) physical performance, (b) social relations with peers, (c) cooperative behavior in class, and (d) ability to reason. A dyadic version of Cheffers Adaptation to Flanders Interaction Analysis System was the observational tool used to describe the teacher-student behaviors. Two 2 × 2 × 3 MANOVAs showed that high attractive students were expected to do better in physical performance and to be more socially integrative with peers than low attractive groups. In addition, high attractive students in the sixth grade received more acceptance of their ideas from their teachers.

Request for reprints should be sent to Thomas J. Martinek, Motor and Social Behavior Laboratory, School of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27412.

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