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Serene Kerpan and Louise Humbert

Background:

Urban Aboriginal youth are a rapidly growing segment of the Canadian population that unfortunately bears a disproportionate level of illness. One way to improve the health of urban Aboriginal youth is to increase their physical activity. It is important to understand what this group’s beliefs and behaviors are on physical activity so that programs that meet their needs can be developed.

Methods:

This ethnographic study engaged 15 urban Aboriginal youth to understand what their physical activity beliefs and behaviors were.

Results:

Results revealed 4 themes: “group physical activity preference,” “focus on the family,” “traditional physical activity,” and “location of residence as a barrier.” These themes illustrated that urban Aboriginal youth have a preference for group physical activity and enjoy traditional Aboriginal forms of activity. Results also showed that the family plays a critical role in their physical activity patterns. Lastly, participants in this study believed that their location of residence was a barrier to physical activity.

Conclusion:

Community leaders need to be sensitive to the barriers that this cultural group faces and build on the strengths that are present among this group when developing physical activity programming.

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Sandra L. Gibbons, Viviene A. Temple and Louise Humbert

It is well documented that many young women become discontented with physical education in their high school years. The purpose of this investigation was to gain insight into the characteristics of nine senior elective physical education courses that were specifically designed to accommodate the needs and interests of female students. Data collection methods included focus group interviews with students; individual interviews with teachers; and analysis of course documents. The following themes are presented: (a) choice in what to learn and how to learn it; (b) all-female learning environment; (c) lifetime physical activities; (d) personalized assessment; and (e) responsive and flexible planning. Findings offer considerations for the development of physical education curricula that will gain and hold the interest of female high school students.

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Kevin S. Spink, Karen Chad, Nazeem Muhajarine, Louise Humbert, Patrick Odnokon, Catherine Gryba and Kristal Anderson

This study examined the relationship between intrapersonal correlates and being sufficiently active for health benefits in youth and adolescents (12-17 years of age). Participants completed questionnaires that assessed physical activity in the form of energy expenditure and intrapersonal correlates. Being in the sufficiently active group (> 8 kcal per day per kg of body weight) was associated with engaging in a greater array of physical activities, reporting greater levels of health, reporting a better home life, and spending less time in sedentary activities. The results provided preliminary evidence that selected intrapersonal correlates were associated with youth and adolescents who were sufficiently active to attain health benefits.

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Kent C. Kowalski, Peter R.E. Crocker, Nanette P. Kowalski, Karen E. Chad and M. Louise Humbert

This research examined the direction of causal flow between global and specific dimensions of self-concept. Although the multidimensionality of self-concept has been strongly supported in the literature, the hierarchical nature of self-concept has not been established. With the use of structural equation modeling, the hierarchical nature of self-concept was tested using the Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP) model both with and without global self-esteem included. Adolescent girls (N = 618) completed the PSPP and Harter’s global self-esteem scale during class time in Grade 9 and a year later in Grade 10. When horizontal effects were included in the self-concept models across age, there was little support for either top-down or bottom-up effects. This contrasted with the results found when the analysis was conducted within each time period separately. This research provides further evidence against the hierarchical model of self-concept and highlights the importance of examining the hierarchical nature of self-concept over time.

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Kevin S. Spink, Christopher A. Shields, Karen Chad, Patrick Odnokon, Nazeem Muhajarine and Louise Humbert

The present study examines whether the correlates of physical activity relevant to sufficiently active youth and adolescents differed as a function of type (structured or unstructured) of physical activity. Participants completed measures of physical activity and activity correlates. The most frequently cited correlates were enjoyment, friends’ participation, and friends’ support. Significant differences were found across type of activity for enjoyment, perceived competence, parental support, coaches’ support, and friends’ participation. The results provide insight into the correlates of physical activity in this population and provide preliminary evidence that different correlates may be associated with different activities.

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Mark W. Bruner, Karen E. Chad, Jodie A. Beattie-Flath, M. Louise Humbert, Tanya C. Verrall, Lan Vu and Nazeem Muhajarine

This study monitored the physical activity behavior of adolescent students over a ten month school year. Physical activity was assessed at two month intervals using selfreport and objective (Actical accelerometers) measures. Self-report results (n = 547) indicated a decline in physical activity throughout the school year for all grades and genders. The decline was attributed largely to a decrease in organized activity participation. Objective physical activity results (n = 40) revealed a significant decline in activity in the latter half of the school year (February to June). Declining physical activity was attributed to a decrease in vigorous activity which was consistent across grade and gender. Collectively, the results highlight the importance of promoting consistent opportunities for adolescents to be active throughout the school year.