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  • Author: Timothy A. Brusseau Jr x
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You Fu, Zan Gao, James C. Hannon, Ryan D. Burns and Timothy A. Brusseau Jr.

Background:

This study aimed to examine the effect of a 9-week SPARK program on physical activity (PA), cardiorespiratory endurance (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run; PACER), and motivation in middle-school students.

Methods:

174 students attended baseline and posttests and change scores computed for each outcome. A MANOVA was employed to examine change score differences using follow-up ANOVA and Bonferroni post hoc tests.

Results:

MANOVA yielded a significant interaction for Grade × Gender × Group (Wilks’s Λ = 0.89, P < .001). ANOVA for PA revealed significant differences between SPARK grades 6 and 7 (Mean Δ = 8.11, P < .01) and Traditional grades 6 and 8 (Mean Δ = –6.96, P < .01). ANOVA also revealed greater PACER change for Traditional boys in grade 8 (P < .01) and SPARK girls in grade 8 (P < .01). There were significant interactions with perceived competence differences between SPARK grades 6 and 8 (Mean Δ = 0.38, P < .05), Enjoyment differences between SPARK grades 6 and 7 (Mean Δ = 0.67, P < .001), and SPARK grades 6 and 8 (Mean Δ = 0.81, P < .001).

Conclusions:

Following the intervention, SPARK displayed greater increases on PA and motivation measures in younger students compared with the Traditional program.