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Bo Shen and Chiren Xu

Background:

Researchers have studied exercise determinants primarily from cognitive and social psychology perspectives, which typically give minimal attention to the body as a physical and biological entity. With the belief that tapping into multidimensional variables would potentially help us better understand motivation in exercise, we designed this study to examine the influences of self-efficacy, body mass, and cardiorespiratory fitness level on Chinese college students’ leisure-time exercise motives.

Methods:

208 college students completed measures of self-efficacy and exercise motives during regular physical education classes. Their body mass and cardiorespiratory fitness level data were derived from the latest annual physical training test. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to investigate the effects of self-efficacy, body mass, and cardiorespiratory fitness on exercise motives.

Results:

Cardiorespiratory fitness level and self-efficacy in exercise significantly contributed to both psychological and interpersonal motives. Body mass was the only significant predictor for body-related motives. However, analyses of health and fitness motives did not result in any significant predictors.

Conclusion:

Physical and psychological variables have both independent and specialized functions on exercise motives. Future motivational studies in exercise should pay greater attention to ecological approaches that account for physical, psychological, and social factors.

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Ang Chen, Bo Shen and Xihe Zhu

A major portion of Catherine Ennis’s scholarship and career was devoted to developing culturally relevant physical education curricula for K–12 students. She held a strong conviction that the efficacy of a curriculum lies in its ability to enhance students’ knowledge and skills of most worth for their lives. The approach she adopted for curriculum development is an evidence-supported curriculum-design process through which a curriculum is put to the rigorous process of intervention research to determine its efficacy. In this article the authors reflect on the experiences they had with her in these curriculum interventions, share the ideas and practices in the research as Ennis envisioned, and discuss challenges and solutions in conducting large-scale, school-based curriculum intervention studies.

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Bo Shen, Gwen Alexander, Sharon Milberger and Kai-Lin C. Jen

Background:

While there is an emerging body of literature showing variations in physical activity between seasons, further investigation is needed to better understand this association in preschool-age children. This study was designed to examine seasonal variation from fall to winter in physical activity among preschoolers.

Methods:

Forty-six preschool children from 2 preschools in a large Midwestern Metropolitan area completed weekly habitual physical activity measures in both fall and following winter. The habitual physical activity was quantified with the GT1M Actigraph uniaxial accelerometer. To determine seasonal differences in physical activity, a series of paired sample t tests were conducted.

Results:

Although overall physical activity level declined in winter, the magnitude of seasonality effects seem varied in terms of contexts. Compared with the decline during after-school time and during weekends, the differences in physical activity across the 2 seasons were much less evident during the time attending preschool and during weekdays.

Conclusion:

Seasonality in physical activity can be moderated by other contextual factors, such as preschool policies and curriculum. Preschools may serve as a major battlefield for fighting against physical inactivity and obesity during childhood due to their practical controllability.

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Alex C. Garn, Alexandre J.S. Morin, Jeffrey Martin, Erin Centeio, Bo Shen, Noel Kulik, Cheryl Somers and Nate McCaughtry

This study investigated a reciprocal effects model (REM) of children’s body fat self-concept and physical self-concept, and objectively measured school physical activity at different intensities. Grade four students (N = 376; M age = 9.07, SD = .61; 55% boys) from the midwest region of the United States completed measures of physical self-concept and body fat self-concept, and wore accelerometers for three consecutive school days at the beginning and end of one school year. Findings from structural equation modeling analyses did not support reciprocal effects. However, children’s body fat self-concept predicted future physical self-concept and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Multigroup analyses explored the moderating role of weight status, sex, ethnicity, and sex*ethnicity within the REM. Findings supported invariance, suggesting that the observed relations were generalizable for these children across demographic groups. Links between body fat self-concept and future physical self-concept and MVPA highlight self-enhancing effects that can promote children’s health and well-being.