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Keven A. Prusak and Paul W. Darst

This study examined the choices made by adolescent girls in physical education classes when allowed to choose from among a variety of walking activities. Following the TARGET (Epstein, 1988; Treasure & Roberts, 1999) structures, nine walking activities were created to reflect one of four themes: social, exercise/fitness, game-like, or competition. Participants were 570 girls from 21 intact 7th and 8th grade classes from five schools in two school districts. Every 3 days for 9 days, students chose from a list of three activities representing a combination of the four themes. They were significantly more likely to choose (a) a social activity over two exercise and fitness activities; (b) either a game-like or competitive activity over an exercise/fitness activity; and (c) a social activity over a game-like activity or a game-like activity over a competitive activity. Adolescent girls may benefit from activities that are designed to be social, game-like, and/or competitive.

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Alan C. Lacy and Paul W. Darst

The purpose of the study was to analyze the teaching/coaching behaviors of winning high school head football coaches during practice sessions. A systematic observation instrument with 11 specifically defined behavior categories was utilized to collect data on behaviors of 10 experienced winning coaches in the Phoenix, Arizona, metropolitan area during the 1982 season. Each coach was observed in three phases of the season: preseason, early season, and late season. Segments of the observed practices were classified as warm-up, group, team, or conditioning. Analysis of the data showed that the total rate per minute (RPM) for behaviors was higher in preseason than in either of the other two phases. Four of the 11 defined behavior categories (praise, scold, instruction, positive modeling) had significant differences (.05 level) in RPM between the preseason and the other two phases of the season. No significant differences were found between the early season and the late season phases. The group segment was used most in the preseason, while the team segment was used more of the time in the early season and late season. A lower RPM during the warm-up and conditioning segments indicated less involvement by the head coaches than in the group and team segments of practice.

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Mary Jo Sariscsany, Paul W. Darst and Hans van der Mars

This study sought to determine the effects of three teacher supervision patterns on student on-task and practice skill behavior. Three experienced physical education instructors and 3 off-task junior high school males served as subjects. An alternating treatments design was used to study the on-task behavior, total practice trials and appropriate practice trials under three supervision patterns: (a) close with feedback, (b) distant with feedback, and (c) distant with no feedback. Under the active supervision patterns (with feedback), teachers issued specific skill feedback to target students at a minimum of 0.5 per minute. Findings indicated that when the treatments were successfully implemented, (a) the percentage of on-task behavior was significantly higher during active supervision for two target students and (b) mixed results were produced for total practice trials and appropriate practice trials across all three treatments.

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Tyler G. Johnson, Timothy A. Brusseau, Susan Vincent Graser, Paul W. Darst and Pamela H. Kulinna

Background:

The purpose of this study was to conduct a secondary analysis by combining 2 pedometer data sets to describe and analyze pedometer-determined steps/day of children by ethnicity and metropolitan status.

Methods:

Participants were 582 children (309 girls, 273 boys; 53% Hispanic, 26% Caucasian, 21% African American) age 10 to 11 years (M = 10.37 ± 0.48) attending 1 of 10 schools located in urban, suburban, and rural settings. Participants wore a research grade pedometer for at least 3 week/school days. Mean steps/ day were analyzed by gender, ethnicity, and metropolitan status.

Results:

Statistical analyses indicated 1) boys (12,853 ± 3831; P < .001) obtained significantly more steps/day than girls (10,409 ± 3136); 2) African American (10,709 ± 3386; P < .05) children accumulated significantly less steps/day than Hispanic (11,845 ± 3901) and Caucasian (11,668 ± 3369) children; and 3) urban (10,856 ± 3706; P < .05) children obtained significantly less steps/day than suburban (12,297 ± 3616) and rural (11,934 ± 3374) children.

Conclusions:

Findings support self-report data demonstrating reduced physical activity among African American children and youth, especially girls, and among children and youth living in urban areas. Possible reasons for these discrepancies are explored.

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Keven A. Prusak, Darren C. Treasure, Paul W. Darst and Robert P. Pangrazi

This study examined the motivational responses of adolescent girls in the physical education setting to having choices of walking activities. Seventh and 8th grade girls (N = 1,110) in 42 intact physical education classes participated in this study. Classes were randomly assigned to choice (n = 21) and no-choice (n = 21) groups. Participants’ situational and contextual motivation was assessed using the Situational Motivation Scale (SIMS) and the Sport Motivation Scale for PE (SMSPE). The SIMS was administered every 3 days during the intervention. The SMSPE was administered as the pre- and posttest. Significant differences indicated that the choice group (a) was more intrinsically motivated, (b) had higher identified regulation, (c) experienced less external control, and (d) was less amotivated. Moderate to large effect sizes were noted. A significant difference in amotivation at the contextual level was noted. Results suggest that adolescent female PE students may be more motivated if given choices. The notion of emerging adult attitudes is presented and explored.

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Tyler G. Johnson, Timothy A. Brusseau, Paul W. Darst, Pamela H. Kulinna and Janel White-Taylor

Background:

The purposes of this study were to describe and analyze the steps/d of nonwhite minority children and youth by gender, grade level, race/ethnicity, and mode of school transportation. A secondary purpose was to compare the steps/d of minority children and youth to their Caucasian grade-level counterparts.

Methods:

Participants were 547 minority youth grades 5 to 8 from 4 urban schools. Participants wore sealed pedometers for 6 consecutive week/school days. Three hundred and ten participants responded to a questionnaire concerning their mode of transportation to and from school.

Results:

Statistical analyses indicated a main effect for gender (F(3, 546) = 13.50, P < .001) with no interaction. Boys (12,589 ± 3921) accumulated significantly more steps/d than girls (9,539 ± 3,135). Further analyses also revealed a significant main effect for mode of school transportation (F(2, 309) = 15.97, P ≤ .001). Walkers (12,614 ± 4169) obtained significantly more steps/d than car (10,021 ± 2856) or bus (10,230 ± 3666) transit users.

Conclusions:

Minority boys obtain similar steps/d as their Caucasian grade-level counterparts; minority girls obtain less steps/d than their Caucasian grade-level counterparts. Minority youth who actively commute are more likely to meet PA recommendations than nonactive commuters.

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Hans van der Mars, Paul W. Darst, E. William Vogler and Barbara Cusimano

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Timothy A. Brusseau, Pamela H. Kulinna, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Matthew Ferry, Hans van der Mars and Paul W. Darst

Background:

The need to understand where and how much physical activity (PA) children accumulate has become important in assisting the development, implementation, and evaluation of PA interventions. The purpose of this study was to describe the daily PA patterns of children during the segmented school-week.

Methods:

829 children participated by wearing pedometers (Yamax-Digiwalker SW-200) for 5 consecutive days. Students recorded their steps at arrival/departure from school, Physical Education (PE), recess, and lunchtime.

Results:

Boys took significantly more steps/day than girls during most PA opportunities; recess, t(440) = 8.80, P < .01; lunch, t(811) = 14.57, P < .01; outside of school, t(763) = 5.34, P < .01; school, t(811) = 10.61, P < .01; and total day, t(782) = 7.69, P < .01. Boys and girls accumulated a similar number of steps t(711) = 1.69, P = .09 during PE. For boys, lunchtime represented the largest single source of PA (13.4%) at school, followed by PE (12.7%) and recess (9.5%). For girls, PE was the largest (14.3%), followed by lunchtime (11.7%) and recess (8.3%).

Conclusion:

An understanding of the contributions of the in-school segments can serve as baseline measures for practitioners and researchers to use in school-based PA interventions.

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Guy C. Le Masurier, Aaron Beighle, Charles B. Corbin, Paul W. Darst, Charles Morgan, Robert P. Pangrazi, Bridgette Wilde and Susan D. Vincent

Background:

The purpose of this study was to describe the pedometer-determined physical activity levels of American youth.

Methods:

A secondary analysis of six existing data sets including 1839 (1046 females, 793 males; ages 6 to 18) school-aged, predominantly white subjects from the southwest US. Grade clusters for elementary (grades 1 to 3), upper elementary (grades 4 to 6), middle school (grades 7 to 9), and high school (grades 10 to 12) were created for statistical analysis.

Results:

Males in grades 1 to 3 and 4 to 6 accumulated significantly more steps/d (13,110 ± 2870 and 13,631 ± 3463, respectively; P < 0.001) than males in grades 7 to 9 and 10 to 12 (11,082 ± 3437 and 10,828 ± 3241). Females in grades 1 to 3 and 4 to 6 accumulated significantly more steps/d (11,120 ± 2553 and 11,125 ± 2923; P < 0.001) than females in grades 7 to 9 and 10 to 12 (10,080 ± 2990 and 9706 ± 3051).

Conclusions:

Results are consistent with those reported for other objective assessments of youth activity indicating that males are typically more active than females and physical activity is less prevalent among secondary school youth than those in elementary school. Pedometer-determined physical activity levels of youth, including secondary school youth, are higher than reported for adult populations.