While there have been many studies into students’ attitudes toward Physical Education at the school level, far fewer studies have been conducted at the university level, especially in China. This study explored 949 students’ attitudes toward their university Physical Education experiences in four Chinese universities. An intercorrelated model of students’ attitudes toward Physical Education comprised of five dimensions, namely Physical Fitness, Self-Actualization and Social Development, Physical Education Curriculum, Physical Education Teachers, and Physical Education Teaching, was conceptually and empirically developed and tested using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. The overall findings suggested that the students had moderately positive attitudes toward Physical Education. More specifically, the findings indicated that students’ attitudes had a significantly positive moderate association with their current participation, a small association with their intended lifelong participation in physical activity outside school, and a significantly positive moderate association with their Physical Education academic achievement. Implications for Physical Education teacher training and curriculum modifications are discussed.
Li is with the College of Sports Science, Shenyang Normal University, Liaoning, China. Chen is with the Department of Education Policy and Leadership, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong. Baker is with the Faculty of Education, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.