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Keven A. Prusak, Tirza Davis, Todd R. Pennington, and Carol Wilkinson

Couched in attitude theory, this follow-up study examines children-voiced perceptions of enjoyment and usefulness toward a district mandated elementary physical education (PE) program. Attitudes of 277 5th and 6th grade males and females from four representative schools from within a district were assessed in a mixed methods study. Survey results were analyzed to examine between groups, schools (based on SES), and gender differences. Twelve males and twelve females were selected from lowest and highest survey responders for follow-up interviews. Survey results indicated a generally positive attitudes (enjoyment: M = 2.71, SD = 0.35; usefulness M =2.69, SD = 0.35) with significant enjoyment differences (F(3, 266) = 5.627, p ≤ .001) noted between schools. Qualitative results define quality PE as enjoyable and useful when it (a) provided a fun, social, learning environment and activities, (b) made an impact on healthy knowledge and behaviors, and (c) consisted of well managed classes taught by engaging teachers.

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Todd R. Pennington, Keven A. Prusak, and Carol Wilkinson

“What we have is a systemic failure —one that involves the relationship of physical education programs in public schools with teacher preparation in higher education.”(Siedentop & Locke, 1997). This assessment led Prusak, Pennington, Vincent-Graser, Beighle, and Morgan (2010) to an examination of a school district that seemed to have achieved Systemic Success in PE (SSPE). The authors sought to understand SSPE’s history from conception to institutionalization. This three-year, qualitative, follow-up study was conducted using Collins’ (2001) framework from Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t.

Making this examination from a business sector perspective provides an insightful look into the making of SSPE. Results of this study provide evidence that while social sector organizations (such as education) share much in common with business sector companies, there are distinct and fascinating differences. Collins’ (2001) framework is both confirmed and extended in this study. Findings also provide a means for PE practitioners and PETE programs to accomplish what Siedentop and Locke (1997) hoped for—to succeed together.

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Jillian Ward, Carol Wilkinson, Susan Vincent Graser, and Keven A. Prusak

This study examined the effects of increased autonomy on (a) self-determination and (b) physical activity levels. Seventh- and eighth-grade girls (N = 122) in four classes participated in two fitness units (one allowing choice of activities, the other no-choice). The order of the units was counterbalanced, so that two classes participated in the choice unit first, and the other two participated in the no-choice unit first. The abridged Situational Intrinsic Motivation Scale (SIMS) was administered after each unit. Pedometers were used to measure step counts during both units. Overall, self-determination was higher in the choice unit. The repeated measures analysis also indicated that girls who experienced the choice unit first, and then were denied the opportunity to make choices had the lowest levels of self-determination. The results provide empirical support for the theoretical prediction that increased autonomy yields higher levels of self-determination.

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Tyler G. Johnson, Keven A. Prusak, Todd Pennington, and Carol Wilkinson

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of (a) skill test type, (b) choices, and (c) gender on the situational motivation profiles of adolescents during skill testing in physical education. Participants were 507 students (53% male) aged 12–16 years (M = 13.87; SD = 0.94) attending a suburban junior high school in a western state in the U.S. All participants experienced either a norm-referenced, summative or a criterion-referenced, formative skill test with or without choices. The Situational Intrinsic Motivation Scale (SIMS) was administered to assess situational motivation. A 2 (test type) × 2 (choice) × 2 (gender) MANOVA was used to test for significant differences on each of the four SIMS indices. Significant test type and gender and a significant test type by gender interaction were found. These findings suggest practitioners should use criterion-referenced, formative skill tests especially when teaching girls in physical education.

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Matthew O. Fullmer, Carol Wilkinson, Keven A. Prusak, Dennis Eggett, and Todd Pennington

Purpose: This study examined the relationship between adolescents (N = 124) from physical education classes keeping a daily online leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) record and feelings of competence toward LTPA, motivational profiles toward LTPA, and LTPA behaviors. Method: A repeated measures ANCOVA was used to examine the relationships between recording compliance and perceived competence, motivation, and physical activity. Results: As students kept the LTPA record, boys’ LTPA levels significantly increased and girls’ levels significantly decreased. A significant interaction between recording compliance and introjected regulation was found; the more students recorded the less motivated they were by guilt or obligation to exercise. A significant interaction was found between recording compliance and intrinsic regulation, showing the more students recorded the more intrinsically motivated they were to exercise in their leisure time. Discussion/Conclusion: Implications and suggestions are described for physical education professionals.

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Liz Haslem, Carol Wilkinson, Kevin A. Prusak, William F. Christensen, and Todd Pennington

The purpose of this study was (a) to test a hypothesized model of motivation within the context of conceptual physical education (CPE), and (b) to explore the strength and directionality of perceived competence for physical activity as a possible mediator for health-related fitness knowledge (HRFK) and physical activity behaviors. High school students (N = 280) at the end of a CPE course completed the following: Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire–2, Godin Leisure–Time Exercise Questionnaire, Perceived Competence Scale, and a HRFK Questionnaire. Structural equation modeling analysis was used to explore the relationships between the variables of HRFK, perceived competence, motivation, and physical activity. The analysis resulted in a modified model that showed a relationship between perceived competence and physical activity, mediated by introjected and identified regulation. A relationship also existed between HRFK and external regulation indicating students felt controlled. Suggested value-promoting activities could help students value concepts being taught.

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Joyce M. Harrison, Lisa A. Preece, Connie L. Blakemore, Robert P. Richards, Carol Wilkinson, and Gilbert W. Fellingham

This study examined volleyball achievement and task-specific self-efficacy for 182 students in 6 beginning college volleyball classes taught using either the Mastery Learning or Skill Teaching models. Three instructors each taught one Mastery Learning and one Skill Teaching class. Assessments included the AAHPERD pass, set. and serve tests, the Stanley spike test, successful and unsuccessful game trials. Bandura-type self-efficacy scales, and a knowledge test. A random coefficients growth curve model analyzed the intercepts and slopes of the learning curves and revealed significant pre- to posttest improvement on skills tests, self-efficacy, and the percentage of correct passes and serves in game play for all students. No significant difference existed between the two models on average number of trials per day; rate of improvement for the pass, serve, or spike skills tests; self-efficacy; percentage of correct passes, sets, or serves in game play; contacts per serve in game play; or knowledge scores. The Mastery students’ rate of learning was significantly better on the set skills test (1.3 points higher) and the percentage of successful spikes in game play, in which they started significantly lower. The low-skilled students improved at a faster rate on the serve and on self-efficacy for the pass, set, and serve. Males had higher self-efficacy than females, while females increased more rapidly in self-efficacy for the pass, set, and serve. All results were analyzed at the .05 level of significance. Students learned to play volleyball and improved significantly in skill performances with either model.

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Larkin L. Strong, Cheryl B. Anderson, Patricia Y. Miranda, Melissa L. Bondy, Renke Zhou, Carol Etzel, Margaret Spitz, and Anna V. Wilkinson


Understanding the factors that contribute to physical activity (PA) in Mexican-origin adolescents is essential to the design of effective efforts to enhance PA participation in this population.


Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify sociodemographic and behavioral correlates of self-reported PA in school and community settings in 1154 Mexican-origin adolescents aged 12–17 years in Houston, TX.


The majority of adolescents were born in the US (74%), approximately half (51%) were overweight or obese, and nearly three-quarters (73%) watched more than 2 hours of weekday television. Similarities and differences by setting and gender were observed in the relationships between sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics and PA. In boys, parental education and attending physical education (PE) were positively associated with PA across multiple PA outcomes. Adolescent linguistic acculturation was inversely associated with participation in community sports, whereas parental linguistic acculturation was positively associated with PA at school. In girls, PA in school and community settings was inversely associated with TV viewing and positively associated with PE participation.


These findings highlight similarities and differences in correlates of PA among boys and girls, and point toward potential sources of opportunities as well as disparities for PA behaviors in Mexican-origin adolescents.