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Annette Phillipp, Neill F. Piland, Jerry Seidenwurm and Howard L. Smith

Educators are challenged to create conditions under which instruction has a reasonable probability of improving students’ knowledge and behavior. In high school physical education courses this problem is accentuated when adolescents are not highly receptive to traditional methods of instruction. The answer may lie in curriculum design wherein courses are better packaged to maintain student interest and involvement. The Albuquerque Public School System explored this concept during two consecutive summer terms. An innovative physical education course incorporating unique field experiences, high levels of participation, and reinforcement of individual responsibility was designed and implemented in a pilot project. When compared to traditional physical education classes, mixed results were obtained for various physical fitness measures and knowledge scores. The implications for designing physical education courses are discussed.

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Karen E. Johnson, Martha Y. Kubik and Barbara J. McMorris

Background:

Alternative high school (AHS) students have low levels of physical activity (PA) and high rates of overweight/obesity. Sports team participation, a specific form of PA, is associated with increased PA and decreased overweight/obesity in general adolescent populations. However, little is known about the prevalence and correlates of sports team participation among AHS students.

Methods:

In 2006, students (n = 145; mean age = 17 years; 52% male; 61% minorities; 64% low-income) attending 6 AHS in Minneapolis/St. Paul completed self-administered surveys. Mixed model logistic regression was used to examine cross-sectional associations between sports team participation and school staff support for PA, friend support for PA, and perceived barriers to PA.

Results:

Among students, 40% participated on ≥ 1 sports teams. Odds of participating on a sports team were positively associated with support for PA from school staff (OR = 1.12, P = .014) and friends (OR = 1.15, P = .005), but inversely associated with perceived barriers to PA (OR = 0.95, P = .014).

Conclusion:

Results suggest that efforts to increase sports team participation among AHS students should target social-environmental factors. Further study is warranted.

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Tracy L. Pellett and Joyce M. Harrison

The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of refinement tasks on female seventh- and eighth-grade students’ (N = 200) daily practice success (average daily correct and total trials, and daily correct/total [C/T] ratios) and overall achievement (students’ pretest to posttest improvement) for an introductory 11-day volleyball unit. Six intact classes were randomly assigned to three groups: (a) control, (b) group receiving refinement tasks during skills progressions (extension, refinement, and application [E/R/A] group), (c) group receiving no refinement tasks during skills progressions (extension and application [E/A] group). From the analysis of the data, it was concluded that refinement tasks did have a significant positive effect on students’ daily practice success (daily C/T ratio) and overall achievement.

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Laura Azzarito and Melinda A. Solmon

Recently, national studies have reported on young people’s low level of participation in physical activity. Because the effect of gender and racial differences among youth participating in physical activity have not been sufficiently addressed, examining the social construction of the body in physical education can provide valuable insights. This study uses poststructuralism as a lens to investigate how students’ construction of meanings around the body varied by gender and race, and how bodily meanings related to students’ participation in physical education classes. The participants were 528 students from public high schools. An instrument was used to assess students’ racial and gendered construction of bodily meanings around specific discursive constructs. Results indicated that students’ meanings differ by race and gender, especially in regard to size, power, muscularity, and appearance. These findings suggest that bodily meanings were influential in students’ self-reported levels of participation in physical education classes.

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Emily Kroshus, Sara P.D. Chrisman, David Coppel and Stanley Herring

This study sought to identify factors that influence whether coaches support athletes struggling with depression and anxiety. Participants were U.S. public high school coaches who completed a written survey assessing their experiences, attitudes, and behaviors related to student-athlete mental health (n = 190 coaches, 92% response rate). Around two-thirds of coaches were concerned about mental health issues among the students they coached. They were more likely to extend help to a struggling athlete if they were aware of their school’s mental health plan and had greater confidence related to helping, including feeling confident in their ability to identify symptoms of mental health disorders. Mental health professionals, including sport psychologists who work with or consult with coaches, are well positioned to help provide coaches with the education necessary to be able to support and encourage care seeking by athletes who are struggling with anxiety or depression.

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Andrew E. Springer, Deanna M. Hoelscher and Steven H. Kelder

Background:

Geographic differences in the prevalence of physical activity (PA) have been found among adults in the US; similar studies have not been conducted among adolescents.

Methods:

Using nationally representative cross-sectional data from the CDC’s 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, we estimated the prevalence of PA and sedentary behaviors by metropolitan status and geographic region.

Results:

The prevalence of PA was lowest and prevalence of sedentary behavior highest for urban students. Students from the South reported the lowest prevalence of PA and the highest prevalence of TV watching, while students from the West generally reported the highest PA prevalence and lowest sedentary behavior prevalence. Prevalence differences ranged from < 1.0% to > 15%, with most differences falling between 5% and 10%.

Conclusions:

Findings mirror regional variations previously observed in adult PA. We need to understand factors that contribute to lower PA in youth living in the South and in urban settings.

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Michael W. Beets and Kenneth H. Pitetti

Background:

To examine the Healthy Fitness Zone (pass/fail) criterion-referenced reliability (CRR) and equivalency (CRE) of the 1-mile run/walk (MRW) and Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) in adolescents (13 to 18 years).

Methods:

Seventy-six girls and 165 boys were randomly assigned to complete 2 trials of each test.

Results:

CRR for the boys on the MRW (Pa = 77%, κq = 0.53) was lower than on the PACER (Pa = 81%, κq = 0.63); girls were classified more similarly on the MRW (Pa = 83%, κq = 0.67) than on the PACER (Pa = 79%, κq = 0.58). The CRE between the MRW and PACER indicated boys (Pa = 77%, κq = 0.55) were classified more consistently on both tests than girls (Pa = 73%, κq = 0.46).

Conclusions:

No test provided greater consistency. Practitioners may consider other features, such as ease of administration, environmental conditions, and comparative use in the literature.

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Simon J. Roberts and Stuart J. Fairclough

The common practice of annually age grouping children in education, likely done under the assumption of similarly aged children sharing similar abilities and learner characteristics, may actually undermine equity and fairness in student assessments. This strategy has received criticism for (dis) advantaging those older children born closer to the “cut off” date for entry into an academic year and for promoting the existence of relative age effects (RAEs). This paper explores the possibility that RAEs may be prevalent in the end-of-year attainment levels of junior high school physical education (PE) students. The PE end-of-year attainment scores were collected from 582 students in grades 7, 8 and 9 (aged 11–14 years) in the United Kingdom (UK). The results from a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated a significant main effect for month of birth (p = .001) and gender (p = .001). Follow up interviews with heads of PE (HoPE) revealed a lack of awareness of RAEs and inconsiderate assessment strategies, which deviated from the requirements of the formal curriculum. The implications of RAEs in school PE assessment and possible recommendations are discussed.

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Andre Koka and Heino Sildala

taxonomy in a PE setting has been supported for both boys and girls, revealing it as equally relevant and applicable for high school students of both genders ( Shen, 2015 ; Shen et al., 2013 ). Research examining gender differences in the amotivation taxonomy in PE has shown that girls scored

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Tracy L. Pellett and Joyce M. Harrison

This study examined low- and high-skilled students’ (N = 68) immediate practice success in response to a teacher’s specific, congruent, and corrective feedback for different tasks (extension, refinement, and application). Data were gathered from an introductory 11-day volleyball unit taught to female seventh and eighth graders (two intact classes) by a physical education specialist. Practice success immediately after teacher feedback was characterized by significant improvement in performance by both ability groups for extension, refinement, and application tasks for the pass and refinement and application tasks for the set.