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Physical Activity for Everyone: What Every Physical Educator Should Know about Promoting Lifelong Physical Activity

Charles B. Corbin

In recent years evidence has accumulated to document the importance of physical activity to lifelong health and fitness. This paper is based on the assumption that a primary goal of physical education is to promote lifetime physical activity. Common misconceptions are described and alternatives for change are proposed: (a) recognizing the unique physical activity needs of youth; (b) promoting opportunities for girls; (c) changing our focus from fitness to physical activity; (d) promoting self-esteem and feelings of competence among youth; (e) narrowing the scope of our objectives; and (f) emphasizing self-management skills in high school to help youth adopt active living as adults. The suggestions are based on scientific evidence and the author’s own experience.

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The “Untracking” of Sedentary Living: A Call for Action

Charles B. Corbin

An important national health goal is to decrease the rate of sedentary living among Americans. Current baseline data suggest that 40% of those 18 and over do no regular leisure physical activity. Many studies suggest that there is a low to moderate relationship among youth activity and sedentary living. Some believe that getting the physical activity patterns of youth to “track” to adulthood could be the solution to reducing adult sedentary living. However, because activity generally decreases with age, a more important goal is to “untrack” activity. Specifically, steps must be taken in adolescence to help teens get “untracked” from their ever-decreasing activity levels. To accomplish this we must teach activities that will “track” to adulthood and teach self-management skills that can lead to a lifetime of active living.

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Sex of Subject, Sex of Opponent, and Opponent Ability as Factors Affecting Self-confidence in a competitive situation

Charles B. Corbin

Male and female subjects (N = 80), ranging in age from 17 to 25 years, participated in a study designed to determine if the sex of the sex of the subject, the sex of the subject's opponent, or the perceived ability of the subject's opponent, (good vs. poor ability) affected subjects' self confidence after competing at a task (TV Pong Game) of “neutral” sex orientation. a 2 x 2 x 2 mixed factorial design, with 10 subjects assigned to each cell, was used. All subjects competed in five games against a confederate and in all cases subjects lost all but the second of the five games. Data were treated using an ANCOVA, with preperformance confidence being used as the covariate. Ragardless of sex of the opponent, females expressed postperformance confidence levels equal to males after performing against an opponent thought to be poor in ability, but they were significantly less cofident after performing against opponents perceived to be good in ability. These findings are consistent with those of Argote, Fisher, McDonald, and O'Neal (1976), who note that the performance expectations of females tend to be unstable and change with single encounters, whereas males are less likely to allow one failure to affect performance assessments.

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A Computer Based Multiple Choice Stimulus-Response Apparatus

Charles F. Cicciarella and Charles B. Corbin

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Sex-typing of Physical Activities and Success Predictions of Children before and after Cross-sex Competition

Charles B. Corbin and Charles Nix

Elementary school children, 20 boys and 20 girls, served as subjects in this investigation designed to determine how children sex-typed each of three different motor activities and to study their success predictions before and after cross-sex competition. Results of the study indicated that both boys and girls sex-typed a motor task requiring strength, speed, and power as a “male” activity, while the two other motor tasks were characterized as “male-female.” The self-confidence levels of girls, as measured by success predictions were lower than boys prior to competition but only for the “male” activity. After cross-sex competition in which girls succeeded as often as the boys, self-confidence of girls was no different than for boys. There were no sex differences in postcompetition state anxiety levels. All subjects regardless of sex were more threatened after competing in a “male” as opposed to a “male-female” activity, and they experienced lower state anxiety following successful rather than unsuccessful competition.

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Tie Effects of Performance Feedback on Female Self-Confidence

Steven J. Petruzzello and Charles B. Corbin

Research has suggested that females lack self-confidence in their abilities to perform in certain physical activity situations. This "situational vulnerability," however, is not characteristic of all age levels. The present research was designed to determine if situational vulnerability was characteristic of college-age females and to determine if postperformance feedback would enhance self-confidence. Further, the research was designed to determine if feedback-enhanced self-confidence would generalize to a different task. In Study 1, males and females (N=381) rated the gender appropriateness of several motor tasks and made confidence ratings. In Study 2, high and low confidence college-age women (N=69) were tested to determine if feedback increased confidence on a gender-neutral task.. Subjects were then tested for confidence after performing a different task to determine if feedback-produced confidence differences were enduring. The results indicated that both tasks were rated as gender-neutral, but college-age females lacked confidence when compared to males. Feedback did improve confidence for low confidence females, but this feedback-enhanced self-confidence did not generalize to a different motor task. It is suggested that a fourth factor, namely lack of experience, be added to Lenney's (1977) situational vulnerability hypothesis as a factor likely to affect female self-confidence.

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The Physical Self-Perception Profile: Devlopment and Preliminary Validation

Kenneth R. Fox and Charles B. Corbin

The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument that would permit the application of recent advances in self-esteem theory to the study of self-perception in the physical domain. Open-ended questionnaire responses were used to identify important contributors to the physical self-esteem of a college age population. Based on these data, four subdomain subscales designed to assess perceived bodily attractiveness, sports competence, physical strength, and physical conditioning were constructed along with a general physical self-worth subscale as the basis of the Physical Self-Perception Profile. The sensitivity, reliability, and stability of the subscales were supported for both genders across three independent samples. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis indicated the discriminant validity of the subdomain subscales, supporting the concept of multidimensionality within the physical domain. Zero-order correlation, partial correlation, and multiple regression analyses provided results consistent with a three-tier hierarchical structure among self-perception elements. In addition, initial predictive validity of the subdomain subscales was evidenced through their association with degree and type of involvement in physical activity.

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Testing Compensation: Does Recreational Basketball Impact Adult Activity Levels?

Kelly B. Lynch, Charles B. Corbin, and Cara L. Sidman


Current guidelines encourage adults to perform regular physical activity (PA) for optimal health, yet the majority of adults fail to meet the guidelines. One explanation for the difficulty in adding PA to meet recommended levels is an internal PA control center that may result in a compensatory lowering of normal activity levels after “added activity” sessions during the day. The purpose of this study was to test the compensation hypothesis by assessing PA on days of “added” PA among adults.


Twenty middle-aged adults recorded daily step counts, in addition to step counts and minutes of basketball play. To test for compensation, step counts on nonbasketball days were compared with steps counts on basketball days (excluding basketball steps).


No significant differences (F = 0.711) were found between groups. In summary, no compensatory decrease in PA was identified on basketball participation days in this population. When steps in basketball were added, differences (P = .01) in daily step counts existed between basketball days (mean = 15,568) and nonbasketball days (mean = 8,408).


These results suggest that “added” PA (basketball) does not result in compensatory reductions in typical daily PA on days of “added” activity for the population studied.

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Female Physical Estimation and Attraction to Physical Activity

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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A Response to “The Horse Is Dead; Let’s Dismount”

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