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Kenneth R. Fox, Charles B. Corbin and William H. Couldry

The Psychological Model for Physical Activity Participation and the Physical Estimation and Attraction Scales (PEAS) were developed by Sonstroem using adolescent male subjects. This study investigated the adequacy of the model and instrument for explaining the involvement of college-age females in physical activity. Results indicated that although the model worked similarly for both sexes, there were important differences. Attraction to physical activity, as measured by the Attraction scale, does not contribute to the model for the females in this study, but it does for males. Physical estimation emerged as a key factor, particularly for females, in its relationship with self-esteem, fitness, and physical activity levels. The Estimation Scale appears to be a reliable and powerful instrument for assessing this construct. Future application and development of the model and scales is discussed.

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Bridgette E. Wilde, Charles B. Corbin and Guy C. Le Masurier

The purpose of this study was to examine the pedometer-measured physical activity levels of high school students (Grades 9–12). Comparisons were made between sexes, among grades, among groups based on level of participation in sport and physical education, and among groups based on levels of self-reported physical activity (based on questions from the National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System). Participants wore sealed pedometers for 4 consecutive school days. Results indicated no differences among days of monitoring but did show significant differences in mean steps per day between sexes, among grades, and among activity levels. Males took more steps per day than females did, and 10th graders took more steps than 12th graders did. Teens involved in sport and physical education took more steps than did those not involved. Teens who reported meeting both moderate and vigorous activity recommendations were most active, followed by teens meeting recommendations for moderate activity.

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Charles B. Corbin, David R. Laurie, Candice Gruger and Betty Smiley

Recent research indicates that females are particularly likely to lack confidence in their abilities to perform physical activities. One theory of instruction suggests a need for educational support for developing competence, self-confidence, and persistence in physical activities. Vicarious success in the form of audiovisual presentations is suggested as one method of educational support which may be effective in enhancing confidence, particularly among females. Thirty-nine adult women participating in an exercise class were studied to determine if vicarious success presented via audiovisuals was effective in altering self-confidence, commitment to physical activity, and physical activity involvement. A discriminant function analysis indicated a significant difference between treatment and control groups on a profile of improved confidence/attitude/activity involvement, with the treatment group showing a more positive profile. Vicarious success experiences enhanced self-confidence, and there was a trend toward greater persistence in activity among those experiencing vicarious success through audiovisual presentations.

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Charles B. Corbin, Michael J. Stewart and William O. Blair

Lenney (1977) suggests that three situational factors are likely to affect the self-confidence of females in achievement situations. These factors are the sex orientation of the task, social comparison, and the need for performance feedback. In this study, 40 children, 20 of each sex, were studied to determine if the self-confidence of young females in their motor performance abilities was affected by Lenney's third situational variable, performance feedback. Presumably, females need feedback about their performance if they are to attain and/or maintain adequate self-confidence levels. The experiment was designed to control the first two factors: sex orientation of the task and social comparison. Results indicated that when performing a task perceived to be “neutral” in sex orientation in a noncompetitive, noncomparative environment, the self-confidence of young girls did not differ from young boys. In the absence of Lenney's (1977) first two factors, girls did not seem to lack self-confidence nor did they seem to be more dependent on performance feedback than boys.

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Cara L. Sidman, Charles B. Corbin and Matthew Rhea

National guidelines have emphasized the benefits of moderate physical activity for promoting health and reducing sedentary behavior, a lifestyle particularly common in women (USDHHS, 2000). This has led to the marketing and promotion of 10,000 steps per day using a pedometer, even though empirical evidence to support this step goal is lacking. The purposes of this study were to determine if this prescribed daily step goal was attainable for sedentary women and to determine the effect of this goal on step counts. Forty-five sedentary women, who were divided into three groups based on mean baseline step counts (very low activity, VLA; low activity, LA; more active, MA) were asked to attain 10,000 steps per day for four weeks. Based upon our analyses, the VLA and LA groups attained the 10,000-step goal a significantly lower mean number of days per week than the MA group. Although the VLA group was not able to attain 10,000 steps per day over the short term, they did increase their step counts in response to a 10,000-step daily goal. In fact, the weekly mean step counts for all three groups improved from baseline as the study progressed. There was, however, a significant decline in step counts from step goal week 3 to week 4 in the MA group, whereas the step counts remained significantly higher than baseline for all four weeks in the VLA and LA groups. As hypothesized, sedentary women with low baseline step counts were low in goal attainment. Counter to hypothesized, motivated sedentary women responded to the 10,000-step goal over the short-term with increased step counts, even when goal attainment was low. Additional research is necessary to test the long-term adherence to the 10,000-step goal among sedentary women. In addition more comprehensive study of step counting as a motivator of activity is necessary including comparison of the 10,000-step goal standard to individualized goals based on baseline step counts.

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Gregory J. Welk, Charles B. Corbin and Lisa A. Lewis

The Physical Self-Perception Profile (3) assesses perceptions of sport competence, physical conditioning, strength, and body attractiveness. Originally validated with college students, the profile has subsequently been adapted for use with younger children (13) and older adults (2) but not with teenage or athletic populations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the factor validity of the children’s version of the Physical Self-Perception Profile (C-PSPP) for high school athletes (N = 542). The C-PSPP was given to athletes (both boys and girls) from a variety of competitive sports. The internal reliability of the subscales was good for both sexes (alphas = .73 to .83), with the exception of the Sport scale for the males (alpha = .64). A clear four-factor structure was evident, though cross loadings existed for males on the Sport scale. Results indicate that teenage athletes have strong physical self-perceptions compared to other populations, particularly regarding skill performance and conditioning.

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Charles B. Corbin, Robert P. Pangrazi and Gregory J. Welk

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James R. Whitehead, Cynthia L. Pemberton and Charles B. Corbin

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Darren Dale, Charles B. Corbin and Thomas F. Cuddihy

This study examined the physical activity participation of students in a large southwestern high school 1–3 years after they had been exposed to a 9th-grade conceptual physical education program. Comparisons were made to students exposed to traditional physical education. Students were assessed using physical activity questions from the 1995 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Students from the conceptual program met adolescent guidelines for physical activity, especially those who participated in the program in its first year of operation. Females were significantly less likely to report sedentary behaviors if they had been exposed to the conceptual, rather than traditional, high school physical education program.

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Charles B. Corbin, Steven A. Feyrer-Melk, Craig Phelps and Lisa Lewis

A group of 1,680 high school athletes were studied to determine factors associated with anabolic steroid use. A questionnaire assessed personal factors and steroid use, behavior of others and steroid use, and availability of anabolic steroids. Use rates were 1.1% for females and 2.4% for males. Steroids were more readily available to males, who also reported knowing more steroid users than did females. Older athletes were more likely to consider steroid use, but differences in use rate were not significant from Grade 8 to 12. Using discriminant analysis, significant differences (p < .001) were found for profiles of steroid users and nonusers for both males and females. For both males and females, personal factors such as having considered steroid use, a willingness to use them if they were legal, and a willingness to use them if they could insure success in sports were the most useful in classifying athletes as steroid users versus nonusers.