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Dean Dudley, Nathan Weaver, and John Cairney

Although high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is perceived to be an efficient way to meet health outcomes in physical education (PE), the effect of HIIT on the learning environment of students is unknown. Purpose: This study compared two PE interventions lasting 8 weeks and assessed the potential efficacy of embedding HIIT into a PE program to meet concurrent health and educative outcomes. Methods: Participants (N = 166; mean age = 12.91 years) were assigned to one of two study conditions according to intact groupings: HIIT program (n = 84) and dynamic PE (DPE) program (n = 82). Assessments occurred at baseline and postintervention. A repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to test the intervention effects in each group. Results: Postintervention analysis demonstrated increases in health indices of both groups and comparing the effect size of each intervention revealed no difference. Systematic direct observation revealed effects for the provision of terminal feedback within the HIIT intervention (g = 1.03) when compared with the DPE intervention. A self-report questionnaire revealed changes in motivation toward PE among students allocated to the HIIT group were trivial, whereas students exposed to the DPE program displayed increased levels of motivation toward their PE experience. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that HIIT may elicit positive changes in PE settings by creating a “time potential” leading to an increased opportunity to learn without negating health gains. The DPE program proved to be move favorable in terms of student motivations to learn during PE.

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Dean Dudley, John Cairney, and Jackie Goodway

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John Cairney, John Hay, Brent Faught, James Mandigo, and Andreas Flouris

This study investigated the effect of gender on the relationship between Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and self-reported participation in organized and recreational free-play activities. A participation-activity questionnaire and the short form Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency was administered to a large sample of children ages 9 to 14 (N = 590). A total of 44 children (19 boys, 25 girls) were identified as having probable DCD. Regardless of gender, children with DCD had lower self-efficacy toward physical activity and participated in fewer organized and recreational play activities than did children without the disorder. While there were no gender by DCD interactions with self-efficacy and play, girls with DCD had the lowest mean scores of all children. These findings are discussed in terms of the social norms that influence boys and girls’ participation in physical activity.

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John Cairney, Heather Clark, Dean Dudley, and Dean Kriellaars

Purpose: Physical literacy (PL) has been proposed as a key construct for understanding participation in physical activity. However, the lack of an agreed-upon definition and measure has hindered research on the topic. The current study proposed and analyzed the construct validity of a PL model comprised of motor competence, perceived competence, motivation, and enjoyment. Method: The authors tested three different models in two samples: Grade 5 (N = 1,448) and Grade 7 students (N = 698). Results: The PL construct was best represented as a hierarchical model in both the Grade 5, X2(295) = 791.90, p < .001; root mean square error of approximation = .035; and comparative-fit index = .97, and the Grade 7 samples, X2(295) = 557.21, p < .001; root mean square error of approximation = .036; and comparative-fit index = .98, samples. Discussion: Future work is needed to design and evaluate a PL measure consistent with our model. Such work will help generate further research and understanding of PL.

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John Cairney, Tia Kiez, E. Paul Roetert, and Dean Kriellaars

While it is commonly thought that physical literacy is an early 21st-century construct and is often credited to Margaret Whitehead, in fact, the term physical literacy can be traced back to the late 1800s. In this narrative, the authors review descriptions of physical literacy that appeared in the late 19th and early to mid-20th century literature and show how physical literacy is historically tied to the reoccurring contextual issue of threats to active lifestyles and how definitional components of the construct have both remained consistent, while others changed over the course of the century. They conclude by discussing some tensions that have arisen with the Whiteheadian construction of the term, as well as the conflation of the term with fitness or physical education. In doing so, the authors hope to open up greater discussion of the multidisciplinary potential of this construct.

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John Cairney, John Hay, Brent E. Faught, Laurie M. Corna, and Andreas D. Flouris

The purpose of this study is to test whether the activity-deficit experienced by children with probable Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) increases with age by comparing activity levels of children with movement difficulties to those of peers without movement difficulties. Using a sample of children ages 9 to 14 (N = 581), we examined whether age influences the relationship between DCD and participation in vigorous play activities and whether the impact of age in this relationship is the same for free play versus organized activities. Consistent with previous work (Bouffard et al. 1996), we found no evidence to support the hypothesis that children with DCD become more inactive compared to their peers as they age; however, we do discuss the limitations in our sample and how some differences in the level of organized and free play are evident among cohorts of different ages. Directions for future research in this area are also discussed. $$ 152 words

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Dean J. Kriellaars, John Cairney, Marco A.C. Bortoleto, Tia K.M. Kiez, Dean Dudley, and Patrice Aubertin

Objective: To examine the impact of circus arts instruction in physical education (PE) on the physical literacy of children in Grades 4 and 5. Methods: A clustered, quasi-experimental design was used comparing children in schools with circus arts instruction in physical education (n = 101) with children in socioeconomic status-matched schools using standard PE instruction (n = 110). Physical literacy assessments performed at the beginning and end of one semester using the Physical Literacy Assessment for Youth tools. Results: Significant improvements in motor competence for both groups; endpoint differences favored the circus arts instruction in physical education schools for 15 of 18 movement skills for Grade 5 and 7 of 18 skills for Grade 4 (p < .05), with corresponding increases in children’s confidence and comprehension of movement terminology, as well as active participation. The gap in motor competence between girls and boys in the circus arts instruction in physical education schools was smaller than in standard PE schools. Conclusions: Circus arts instruction enriched PE can effectively aid in the development of physical literacy in children with greater gender equity.