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Adolescent Expectancy-Value Motivation, Achievement in Physical Education, and Physical Activity Participation

Xihe Zhu and Ang Chen

This study examined the relation between adolescent expectancy-value motivation, achievements, and after-school physical activity participation. Adolescents (N = 854) from 12 middle schools completed an expectancy-value motivation questionnaire, pre and posttests in psychomotor skill and health-related fitness knowledge tests, and a three-day after-school Physical Activity Recall. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling to test an a priori model. Results revealed that expectancy belief significantly predicted adolescent psychomotor achievement, and that psychomotor achievement was the only direct significant predictor for physical activity participation (p < .05). Expectancy belief and task values were not significantly directly associated with adolescent physical activity participation (p > .05). The findings suggested the relation between adolescent expectancy-value motivation and physical activity participation is likely to be mediated by their psychomotor skill achievement.

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Before School Exercise Effects on Fitness and Academic Performance in Schoolchildren: A Retrospective Case-Controlled Study

Austin J. Kulp and Xihe Zhu

Background/Purpose: Before school exercise programs (BSEPs) give students time for breakfast and add time to their daily physical activity. However, the effects of BSEP on physical fitness and academic achievement in the classroom remain unclear. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of BSEP on cardiorespiratory fitness and academic performance among fourth- and fifth-grade students. Method: A retrospective case-controlled design was used in this study. Fourth and fifth graders (N = 84) were participants, half signed up for BSEP that met once a week for 10 weeks. A retrospectively case-controlled comparison group was generated from the classmates of those in BSEP in the same school. All students took PACER and statewide academic performance assessments. Multivariate analysis of covariance for student cardiorespiratory fitness, and mathematics and reading, were conducted, adjusting for pretest performances. Analysis/Results: There were improvements for both groups in academic performances and cardiorespiratory fitness. The cardiorespiratory fitness and reading test improvements were greater in the BSEP group than those in the comparison group, controlling for their pretests. However, there was no significant difference in student mathematics test performances. Conclusion: Students in BSEP group benefited from participating in the program with greater improvement in cardiorespiratory and reading test performances than the comparison group. These findings suggested that providing a BSEP once a week for 45 min may be beneficial to fourth and fifth graders.

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Three-Year Health-Related Fitness Knowledge Growth in One Curriculum Context: Impact of Sociodemographic Factors

Xihe Zhu and Justin A. Haegele

Purpose: This study aims to (a) examine elementary school students’ health-related fitness knowledge growth under one curriculum condition and (b) examine the impacts of student/school-level factors on health-related fitness knowledge and its growth rate in physical education. Method: We used an observational, longitudinal repeated-measures design, and conducted analyses on an existing dataset. Participants were 7,479 third, fourth, and fifth graders (48.9% girls) from 152 elementary schools. Measures were a knowledge test and sex at the student level, and socioeconomic data, academic performance, and student–faculty ratio at the school level. We ran three-level hierarchical linear models on the data. Results: Fitness knowledge growth was found to form a quadratic curve from third through fifth grades. School-level academic performance was positively associated with fitness knowledge. Sex was not associated with fitness knowledge or knowledge growth rate. Discussion: These findings contribute to the understanding of health-related fitness knowledge growth among elementary students.

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High School Student Fitness Test Attributions: Does BMI or Performance Matter?

Summer Davis, Xihe Zhu, and Justin Haegele

Purpose: To examine differences in fitness test performance and the attributions made for the performances between high school students of different weight status. Methods: High school students (n = 185) completed the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run and the push-up fitness tests and then completed the modified Causal Dimension Scale to assess their attributions for their performances. Results: Students of a healthy weight performed higher than overweight/obese students on both fitness tests. There were no significant differences in attribution dimension scores for either test between healthy weight and overweight/obese students. Student performance played a significant role on the attribution dimension scores for both tests. Students primarily attributed their push-up and Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run performance to ability. Conclusion: As student performance is significantly associated with attribution dimension scores, improving fitness test performance should subsequently foster adaptive attributions, creating a high expectancy for future success.

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Adolescents’ Interest and Performances in Aerobic Fitness Testing

Xihe Zhu, Senlin Chen, and James Parrott

This study examined adolescents’ interest in aerobic fitness testing and its relation to the test performances. Adolescents (N = 356) from three middle schools participated in the study. The participants took two aerobic fitness tests: the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) and One-Mile Run (1MR) with a two-day interval, and completed two interest scales immediately after each test. Test performances, interest, and body mass index data were collected. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, multivariate analysis of variance/covariance, and hierarchical regression analyses. Student situational and personal interests were low-to-moderate overall in both aerobic fitness tests. Boys reported significantly higher situational interest than girls, but there was no gender difference in personal interest. Personal interest was a significant predictor for PACER (b=.27) and 1MR (b=-.37). The predictability of situational interest to testing performances varied between PACER and 1MR. PACER and 1MR might have rendered distinct motivational stimuli that led to the varied predicting power of situational interest.

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Reactivity to Accelerometer Measurement of Children With Visual Impairments and Their Family Members

Xihe Zhu and Justin A. Haegele

The purpose of this study was to examine reactivity to accelerometer measurement in children with visual impairments (VI), their sighted siblings, and their parents. A sample of 66 participants (including 22 children with VI, 22 siblings, and 22 parents) completed a demographic survey and wore triaxial accelerometers for at least 4 consecutive days for 8 hr. An analysis of covariances with repeated measures was conducted, controlling for participant gender. Children with VI had 8.1% less moderate to vigorous physical activity time on Day 1 than Days 2–4 average. Their sighted siblings and parents had 7.8% and 7.1% more moderate to vigorous physical activity time on Day 1 than their Days 2–4 average, respectively. The reactivity percentage for parents and children without VI is consistent with existing literature. However, an inverse reactivity for children with VI was found, which is a unique contribution to the literature and will have implications for researchers using accelerometers for this population.

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“My Eyes Have Nothing to Do With How My Legs Move”: Individuals With Visual Impairments’ Experiences With Learning to Run

Katherine Holland, Justin A. Haegele, and Xihe Zhu

The purpose of this study was to describe the reflections of adults with visual impairments about learning to run during K–12 physical education. An interpretative phenomenological analysis research approach was used, and eight adults (age 22–35 years) with visual impairments served as participants. Primary data sources were semistructured, audiotaped telephone interviews and reflective interview notes. Based on a thematic data analysis process, two themes were developed: (a) “I wouldn’t expect anything better from you”: running instruction in physical education and (b) “You look like the guy in the crosswalk signal”: making up for the shortcomings of physical education. The narratives portraying these themes highlight the lack of instruction that took place in physical education, and the fact that no running instruction occurred at all. These findings indicate that professionals working with individuals with visual impairments should use instructional strategies that will allow for maximum access to learning fundamental movement skills such as running.

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Paraeducator Support in Integrated Physical Education as Reflected by Adults With Visual Impairments

Justin A. Haegele, Takahiro Sato, Xihe Zhu, and T. Nicole Kirk

The purpose of this study was to examine the reflections of adults with visual impairments regarding paraeducator support during their school-based integrated physical education. An interpretative phenomenological analysis research approach was used, and 9 adults (age 21–34 years; 8 women and 1 man) with visual impairments acted as participants. Semistructured audio-recorded telephone interviews and reflective field notes were sources of data. A 3-step analytic process was adopted for thematic development. Based on the data analysis, 3 interrelated themes emerged: “they wouldn’t let me participate”—restriction in the name of safety, “stuck out like a big tree in a field full of poppies”—unwanted social attention and isolation, and “I felt like they weren’t trained”—paraeducator disengagement and training needs. The themes highlight concerns expressed by the participants, such as the need for paraeducator training, that should be considered when using paraeducator support during physical education.

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Barriers, Expectancy-Value Beliefs, and Physical Activity Engagement Among Adults With Visual Impairments

T.N. Kirk, Justin A. Haegele, and Xihe Zhu

The purpose of this inquiry was to examine the relationship between barriers to physical activity, expectancy-value variables, and physical activity engagement among adults with visual impairments. Using a descriptive correlational approach, a sample of 214 adults with visual impairments (M age = 43.14, SD = 13.67) completed questionnaires pertaining to barriers to physical activity, expectancy-value beliefs about physical activity, and physical activity engagement. Data were analyzed via correlation and hierarchical regression. The final regression model explained 20.30% of variance in physical activity (p < .001). Intrinsic value (β = 0.26, p = .01) and expectancy beliefs (β = 0.33, p < .001) each emerged as significant predictors of physical activity engagement, which suggests that expectancy-value theory may have some utility for investigating the physical activity engagement of individuals with visual impairments. However, the lack of significant contribution of other variables such as attainment and utility values, as well as barriers factors, underscores the need for additional research in this area.

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“They’re Either Going to Find Ways to Include You or They’re Just Kind of Not”: Experiences of Students With Orthopedic Impairments in Integrated Physical Education

Katherine Holland, Justin A. Haegele, Xihe Zhu, and Jonna Bobzien

This study explored the experiences of students with orthopedic impairments in integrated physical education (PE) classes. An interpretative phenomenological analysis research approach was used, and six students with orthopedic impairments (age = 10–14 years) served as participants. Data sources were semistructured, audiotaped interviews and reflective interview notes. Based on data analysis, three themes were developed—“Without it, they probably would like, just treat me normal,” visibility, disclosure, and expectations; “I sit out,” limited participation and a lack of modifications/accommodations; and “PE doesn’t feel great,” social interactions and perception of self. The experiences portrayed throughout these themes highlight the marginalization and lack of access that the participants encountered in their integrated PE classes. The findings indicated that PE professionals working with students with orthopedic impairments may benefit from reflecting on personal biases and their instructional practices in an effort to improve the quality of PE experiences for these students.