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K. Andrew R. Richards, Gabriella M. McLoughlin, Victoria Nicole Ivy and Karen Lux Gaudreault

Purpose:

Despite an abundance of research on doctoral student socialization in higher education, little attention has been paid to physical education doctoral students. This study sought to understand physical education doctoral students’ perceptions of their socialization as preparation for faculty roles.

Method:

Participants included 32 physical education doctoral students (16 female, 16 male) from US institutions of higher education. Data were collected in three phases using focus group interviews, an open-ended survey, and individual interviews.

Results:

Three first-order themes described: (a) indirect, but common pathways to pursuing a doctoral degree, (b) relationships are essential to the doctoral program experience, and (c) becoming a faculty member is a complex and ongoing process.

Discussion/Conclusions:

Relationships, particularly with faculty members, are integral to doctoral education. Training for the role of doctoral advisor could be beneficial, as could connecting cohort members and promoting opportunities to learn the role of teacher educator and publish research.

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Gabriella McLoughlin, Courtney Weisman Fecske, Yvette Castaneda, Candace Gwin and Kim Graber

There are many reasons why individuals are motivated to participate in sports. Less attention, however, is given for studying motivation and athlete development in adapted sport. The purpose of this study was to identify the motivations, facilitators, and barriers to sports participation of elite athletes with a physical disability. Participants (N = 23, 17 males, six females, mean age: 24.3 years) were recruited through online listservs, e-mails, and snowball sampling. A semistructured interview guide was employed. Analysis was conducted and grounded in self-determination theory and literature surrounding barriers and facilitators of sports participation. Through coding by multiple researchers, six themes emerged. Themes indicated that athletes attributed participation to constructs of self-determination theory as well as overcoming specific barriers such as cost, time constraints, and lack of opportunity. Among facilitators to their athletic development, there were empowerment and advocacy, increased health, college scholarships, and achieving performance-related goals.

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Gabriella M. McLoughlin, Kim C. Graber, Amelia M. Woods, Tom Templin, Mike Metzler and Naiman A. Khan

Purpose: To address the obesity epidemic and promote children’s health; several health organizations recommend that schools develop comprehensive programs designed to promote physical activity and health behavior. Given a lack of empirical investigation, the authors sought to understand how physical education programs are perceived within such initiatives. Methods: A case study was conducted to acquire insights of key stakeholders (N = 67) in a school nationally recognized for promoting physical activity and health. Data were collected using formal interviews, informal interviews, observations, and document analysis. Data were analyzed utilizing grounded theory and constant comparison. Results: Physical education was viewed positively by stakeholders; however, physical educators felt marginalized within the school infrastructure. Systemic barriers to program quality included lack of leadership, feelings of marginalization, and insufficient funding and collaboration. Discussion: Findings raise concerns about the difficulty of sustaining a high-quality physical education program even in a school recognized for significant support of physical activity.