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Karen S. Meaney, L. Kent Griffin and Melanie A. Hart

This investigation examined the effect of model similarity on girls’ acquisition, retention, transfer, and transfer strategies of a novel motor task. Forty girls (mean age = 10 years) were randomly assigned to conditions in a 2 (model skill level) ✓ 2 (model sex) factorial design using four treatment groups: (a) male skilled, (b) male learning, (c) female skilled, and (d) female learning. Quantitative data were collected throughout all phases of the investigation. ANOVA results for transfer strategies revealed a significant main effect for model skill level and model sex. Participants observing a female model or a learning model transferred significantly more learning strategies than did participants observing a male or skilled model. After quantitative data collection, qualitative data were obtained via structured interviews and assessed through content analysis. Results from the interview analyses underscored the need to include models of similar sex, as well as learning models when instructing girls in motor skills.

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Karen S. Meaney, Melanie A. Hart and L. Kent Griffin

Social-Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1986, 1999) served as the framework to explore overweight children’s perceptions of different physical activity settings. Participants were children (n = 67) enrolled in an after-school and summer program for overweight African-American and Hispanic-American children from low-income families. To gain insight into the children’s thoughts encompassing their participation in both the after school/summer program and their physical education classes at their respective elementary schools, all of the children individually participated in semistructured interviews. Children enjoyed their involvement in the after-school/summer program and described social, physical, and cognitive benefits related to their participation. Interview data also revealed children’s ideas and suggestions for adapting physical education to enhance participation in physical activity. Based on these results, instructional and management strategies focusing on promoting a nurturing environment in physical activity settings for all children (overweight and nonoverweight) are presented and discussed.