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  • Author: Jodee Schaben x
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Senlin Chen, Yang Liu and Jodee Schaben

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to examine physical activity (PA)/fitness knowledge and its association with PA and sedentary behavior in youth.

Method:

Eighth grade students from five schools (N = 660) in a midwestern state completed a PE Metrics written test and the Youth Activity Profile to assess PA/fitness knowledge, PA (at school and after school) and sedentary behavior, respectively.

Results:

Participants were clustered into high, medium, and low knowledge groups. Students in the high knowledge group reported higher level of PA after school (p < .05, d = .28) but lower level of sedentary behavior than the low knowledge group (p = .001, d = -.45). The low knowledge group also reported higher PA at school (p < .05, d = .25). PA/Fitness knowledge significantly predicted sedentary behavior, particularly in the low knowledge group (β = -.32, t = -2.46, p < .05, R 2 = .105), after controlling for gender and race/ethnicity.

Conclusion:

Physical education focused on conveying PA/fitness knowledge is warranted to educate youth to move more and sit less.

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Michelle Ihmels, Gregory J. Welk, James J. McClain and Jodee Schaben

Background:

Advances in BIA offer practical alternative approaches to assessing body composition in young adolescents and have not been studied for comparability.

Methods:

This study compared reliability and convergent validity of three field tests (2-site skinfold, Omron and Tanita BIA devices) on young adolescents. Reliability was determined using intraclass correlation coefficients, convergent validity was examined by computing correlations among the three estimates, differences in estimated body fat values were evaluated using repeated-measures ANOVA, and classification agreement was computed for achieving FITNESSGRAM® Healthy Fitness Zone.

Results:

ICC values of all three measures exceeded .97. Correlations ranged from .74 to .81 for males and .79 to .91 for females. Classification agreement values ranged from 82.8% to 92.6%.

Conclusions:

Results suggest general agreement among the selected methods of body composition assessments in both boys and girls with the exception that percent body fat in boys by Tanita BIA is significantly lower than skinfold estimation.

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James J. McClain, Gregory J. Welk, Michelle Ihmels and Jodee Schaben

Background:

The PACER test is a valid and reliable assessment of aerobic capacity in children. However, many schools lack adequate space to administer the test. This study compared the utility of the standard 20m PACER test with an alternative 15m PACER protocol in 5th and 8th grade students.

Methods:

A total of 171 students completed both PACER protocols in a counterbalanced design. Agreement between the two protocols was assessed with correlations, repeated-measures ANOVA, and classification agreement into the FITNESSGRAM ® healthy fitness zones.

Results:

The difference in estimated VO2max between the two tests was slightly larger for boys (5th grade, 1.32 ml/kg/min; 8th grade, 1.72 ml/kg/min) than girls (5th grade, 0.14 ml/kg/min; 8th grade, 1.11 ml/kg/min), but these differences are probably not of practical significance. Classification agreement was 88% for boys and 91% for girls.

Conclusions:

Collectively, the results suggest that the 15m and 20m PACER provide similar information about aerobic fitness in youth. The 20m test is recommended when possible, but the 15m provides a useful alternative for schools with smaller gymnasiums.

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Gregory J. Welk, Jodee A. Schaben and Mack Shelley

Homeschooling is increasingly popular, but little is known about how homeschooling affects physical activity patterns or fitness levels. This study compares patterns of physical fitness, physical activity, and psychosocial correlates of physical activity in homeschooled youth and youth attending public school. Fitness levels were obtained using the PACER aerobic fitness test, physical activity levels were assessed with 3 days of accelerometry, and psychosocial correlates were assessed with the Children’s Physical Activity Correlates scale. There were no significant main effects for fitness comparisons, but significant age and gender interactions indicate that variability exists within these samples for fitness. No school type effects were evident for the physical activity measures or the psychosocial correlate measures, but trends in the data suggest the possibility of age-related interactions for the psychosocial measures. Additional research on possible differences between homeschooled youth and youth attending public school is needed to better understand these trends.

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Jodee A. Schaben, Gregory J. Welk, Roxane Joens-Matre and Larry Hensley

Understanding physical activity (PA) correlates in youth is challenging due to the inherent changes in activity patterns, activity preferences, and social norms that occur during the normal developmental transition from childhood into adolescence. This study examines possible age-related differences in physical activity correlates using the Children’s Physical Activity Correlates Scale (CPAC). The Children’s Physical Activity Questionnaire (PAQ) was used to measure typical levels of PA. Results indicate high school youth had lower levels of PA and lower levels on the psychosocial correlates than middle school youth. Parental influence accounted for ~ 15% of the variance in PA while the predisposing factors (perceived competence, attraction to PA) accounted for 20% and 17% of the variance for middle and high school students, respectively. CPAC has similar predictive validity across the age range. The CPAC scale offers potential to help understand factors that influence physical activity behavior during the transition from childhood into adolescence.

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Gregory J. Welk, Joey C. Eisenmann, Jodee Schaben, Stewart G. Trost and Darren Dale

The unique physical and movement characteristics of children necessitate the development of accelerometer equations and cut points that are population specific. The purpose of this study is to develop an ecologically valid cut point for the Biotrainer Pro monitor that reflects a threshold for moderate-intensity physical activity in elementary school children. A sample of 30 children (ages 8−12) wore a Biotrainer monitor while completing a series of 7 movement tasks (calibration phase) and while participating in an organized group activity (cross-validation phase). Videotapes from each session were processed using a computerized direct-observation technique to provide a criterion measure of physical activity. Analyses involved the use of mixed-model regression and receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves. The results indicated that a cut point of 4 counts/min provides the optimal balance between the related needs for sensitivity (accurately detecting activity) and specificity (limiting misclassification of activity as inactivity). Results with the cross-validation data demonstrated that this value yielded the best overall kappa (.58) and a high classification agreement (84%) for activity determination. The specificity of 93% demonstrates that the proposed cut point can accurately detect activity; however, the lower sensitivity value of 61% suggests that some minutes of activity might be incorrectly classified as inactivity. The cut point of 4 counts/min provides an ecologically valid cut point to capture physical activity in children using the Biotrainer Pro activity monitor.