A Longitudinal Study of Children’s Enjoyment of Physical Education

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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One mission of physical education (PE) is the promotion of enjoyable physical activity participation. PE enjoyment of 414 elementary school students (51% male, 77% Caucasian) was examined in a 3-year prospective study. Analyzed using Generalized Estimating Equations, PE enjoyment decreased significantly from the fourth to sixth grade (p < .001) and was lower among girls (p < .001) and students not in organized sports (p < .005). Ethnicity and body mass index were not significant predictors of PE enjoyment. Girls, older children, and those not on sports teams are especially dependent on PE as the setting for accruing health-related physical activity, and strategies are needed to enhance their PE enjoyment.

J.J. Prochaska is with the Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego; J.F. Sallis is with the Department of Psychology, D.J. Slymen is with the School of Public Health, and T.L. McKenzie is with the Department of Exercise & Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA.

Pediatric Exercise Science
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