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  • Author: Xihe Zhu x
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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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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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Exploring Blind and Visually Impaired Students’ Views on How to Improve Physical Education

M. Ally Keene, Justin A. Haegele, Lindsay E. Ball, Lindsey A. Nowland, and Xihe Zhu

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore blind and visually impaired students’ opinions on ways to improve physical education. Method: Twenty-two blind and visually impaired youth (age 12–17 years) completed one-to-one interviews. Three themes were constructed using a reflexive thematic analysis approach. F indings: The first theme depicted participants’ views that physical education was a break during the day that did not have educational benefits. In the second theme, the participants highlighted communication and collaboration as important elements that could improve their experiences. The final theme centered on the nonexistent, insufficient, or demoralizing nature of seldom existing accommodations. Discussion: Blind and visually impaired students noted aspects of curriculum content, communication, and accommodations in physical education that may be changed to enhance their experiences, which largely centered on their physical educators’ behaviors.