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Keven A. Prusak, Darren C. Treasure, Paul W. Darst and Robert P. Pangrazi

This study examined the motivational responses of adolescent girls in the physical education setting to having choices of walking activities. Seventh and 8th grade girls (N = 1,110) in 42 intact physical education classes participated in this study. Classes were randomly assigned to choice (n = 21) and no-choice (n = 21) groups. Participants’ situational and contextual motivation was assessed using the Situational Motivation Scale (SIMS) and the Sport Motivation Scale for PE (SMSPE). The SIMS was administered every 3 days during the intervention. The SMSPE was administered as the pre- and posttest. Significant differences indicated that the choice group (a) was more intrinsically motivated, (b) had higher identified regulation, (c) experienced less external control, and (d) was less amotivated. Moderate to large effect sizes were noted. A significant difference in amotivation at the contextual level was noted. Results suggest that adolescent female PE students may be more motivated if given choices. The notion of emerging adult attitudes is presented and explored.

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Tyler G. Johnson, Timothy A. Brusseau, Susan Vincent Graser, Paul W. Darst and Pamela H. Kulinna

Background:

The purpose of this study was to conduct a secondary analysis by combining 2 pedometer data sets to describe and analyze pedometer-determined steps/day of children by ethnicity and metropolitan status.

Methods:

Participants were 582 children (309 girls, 273 boys; 53% Hispanic, 26% Caucasian, 21% African American) age 10 to 11 years (M = 10.37 ± 0.48) attending 1 of 10 schools located in urban, suburban, and rural settings. Participants wore a research grade pedometer for at least 3 week/school days. Mean steps/ day were analyzed by gender, ethnicity, and metropolitan status.

Results:

Statistical analyses indicated 1) boys (12,853 ± 3831; P < .001) obtained significantly more steps/day than girls (10,409 ± 3136); 2) African American (10,709 ± 3386; P < .05) children accumulated significantly less steps/day than Hispanic (11,845 ± 3901) and Caucasian (11,668 ± 3369) children; and 3) urban (10,856 ± 3706; P < .05) children obtained significantly less steps/day than suburban (12,297 ± 3616) and rural (11,934 ± 3374) children.

Conclusions:

Findings support self-report data demonstrating reduced physical activity among African American children and youth, especially girls, and among children and youth living in urban areas. Possible reasons for these discrepancies are explored.

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Stephen Kodish, Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Jeffrey Martin, Robert Pangrazi and Paul Darst

The purposes of this study included (a) to determine if the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) predicted intentions of individuals with and without disabilities to be physically active, (b) to determine if the TPB predicted behaviors of individuals with and without disabilities to be physically active, and (c) to determine if significant differences were present in physical activity opportunities between inclusive and non-inclusive elementary physical education classes taught by the same teacher. Students (N = 114, ages 10-13) completed questionnaires assessing the TPB constructs and had four days of PA evaluated through pedometer measurements. Analyses revealed that subjective norm and perceived behavioral control predicted students’ intentions to be active, while behavioral intention was the only significant predictor of activity level by step count accrued in PE classes. Finally, the inclusion of students with autism did not significantly affect overall physical activity.

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Timothy A. Brusseau, Pamela H. Kulinna, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Matthew Ferry, Hans van der Mars and Paul W. Darst

Background:

The need to understand where and how much physical activity (PA) children accumulate has become important in assisting the development, implementation, and evaluation of PA interventions. The purpose of this study was to describe the daily PA patterns of children during the segmented school-week.

Methods:

829 children participated by wearing pedometers (Yamax-Digiwalker SW-200) for 5 consecutive days. Students recorded their steps at arrival/departure from school, Physical Education (PE), recess, and lunchtime.

Results:

Boys took significantly more steps/day than girls during most PA opportunities; recess, t(440) = 8.80, P < .01; lunch, t(811) = 14.57, P < .01; outside of school, t(763) = 5.34, P < .01; school, t(811) = 10.61, P < .01; and total day, t(782) = 7.69, P < .01. Boys and girls accumulated a similar number of steps t(711) = 1.69, P = .09 during PE. For boys, lunchtime represented the largest single source of PA (13.4%) at school, followed by PE (12.7%) and recess (9.5%). For girls, PE was the largest (14.3%), followed by lunchtime (11.7%) and recess (8.3%).

Conclusion:

An understanding of the contributions of the in-school segments can serve as baseline measures for practitioners and researchers to use in school-based PA interventions.

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Michael W. Beets, Guy C. Le Masurier, Aaron Beighle, David A. Rowe, Charles F. Morgan, Jack Rutherford, Michael Wright, Paul Darst and Robert Pangrazi

Background:

The purpose of this study was to cross-validate international BMI-referenced steps/d cut points for US girls (12,000 steps/d) and boys (15,000 steps/d) 6 to 12 years of age.

Methods:

Secondary pedometer-determined physical activity data from US children (N = 1067; 633 girls and 434 boys, 6 to 12 years) were analyzed. Using international BMI classifications, cross-validation of the 12,000 and 15,000 steps/d cut points was examined by the classification precision, sensitivity, and specificity for each age–sex stratum.

Results:

For girls (boys) 6 to 12 years, the 12,000 (15,000) steps/d cut points correctly classified 42% to 60% (38% to 67%) as meeting (achieved steps/d cut point and healthy weight) and failing (did not achieve steps/d cut point and overweight). Sensitivity ranged from 55% to 85% (64% to 100%); specificity ranged from 23% to 62% (19% to 50%).

Conclusion:

The utility of pedometer steps/d cut points was minimal in this sample given their inability to differentiate among children who failed to achieve the recommended steps/d and exhibited an unhealthy weight. Caution, therefore, should be used in applying previous steps/d cut points to US children.

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Guy C. Le Masurier, Aaron Beighle, Charles B. Corbin, Paul W. Darst, Charles Morgan, Robert P. Pangrazi, Bridgette Wilde and Susan D. Vincent

Background:

The purpose of this study was to describe the pedometer-determined physical activity levels of American youth.

Methods:

A secondary analysis of six existing data sets including 1839 (1046 females, 793 males; ages 6 to 18) school-aged, predominantly white subjects from the southwest US. Grade clusters for elementary (grades 1 to 3), upper elementary (grades 4 to 6), middle school (grades 7 to 9), and high school (grades 10 to 12) were created for statistical analysis.

Results:

Males in grades 1 to 3 and 4 to 6 accumulated significantly more steps/d (13,110 ± 2870 and 13,631 ± 3463, respectively; P < 0.001) than males in grades 7 to 9 and 10 to 12 (11,082 ± 3437 and 10,828 ± 3241). Females in grades 1 to 3 and 4 to 6 accumulated significantly more steps/d (11,120 ± 2553 and 11,125 ± 2923; P < 0.001) than females in grades 7 to 9 and 10 to 12 (10,080 ± 2990 and 9706 ± 3051).

Conclusions:

Results are consistent with those reported for other objective assessments of youth activity indicating that males are typically more active than females and physical activity is less prevalent among secondary school youth than those in elementary school. Pedometer-determined physical activity levels of youth, including secondary school youth, are higher than reported for adult populations.