This study examines the relationship between physical activity in sport and feelings of well-being, testing alternative interpretations of the relationship between these two variables. It was expected that there would be positive relationships between physical activity on the one hand and physical fitness, feelings of well-being, social interaction in the sport and exercise environment, and socioeconomic status on the other hand. It was also expected that physical fitness, social interaction, and socioeconomic status would be positively related to psychological well-being. Further, it was expected that any positive zero-order relationship of physical activity and well-being would be at least in part a result of the conjoint effects of the other variables. The analyses were conducted separately for the male and female subsamples of a large survey study of Canadian adults. The results, after controls, show a modest positive relationship of physical activity and well-being for males but no such relationship for females. The predicted independent effects of the control factors obtained for both males and females. Interpretations of the results are discussed.
William McTeer and James E. Curtis
Cynthia S. Teel, Paula Carson, Janet Hamburg and Alicia Ann Clair
The authors developed a program for older adults to improve spatial awareness and sense of balance while promoting person-environment interaction. Motivating Moves, a 20-min program of 14 movement sequences set to original music, was offered to 4 groups of older adults (N = 66, mean age = 80.97, SD = 7.34) during 6 weekly 1-hr sessions. Participants learned new movements during the First 5 weeks, and all movements were reviewed in the 6th week. Program evaluation was based on attendance-pattern data, self-report measures of program satisfaction, and focus-group interviews. Approximately 64% of enrollees (n = 42) completed the program, and attendance rates were high (>89%) for these individuals. Participants reported benefits of Motivating Moves’, such as enhanced posture awareness, improved sense of balance, and increased social interaction. Issues related to developing and offering a movement program with music are reviewed, with attention to potential difficulties and suggestions for program implementation.
Lupe Castañ and Claudine Sherrill
The purpose was to analyze the social construction of Challenger baseball opportunities in a selected community. Participants were 10 boys and 6 girls with mental and/or physical disabilities (ages 7 to 16 years, M = 11.31), their families, and the head coach. Data were collected through interviews in the homes with all family members, participant observation at practices and games, and field notes. The research design was qualitative, and critical theory guided interpretation. Analytical induction revealed five outcomes that were particularly meaningful as families and coach socially constructed Challenger baseball: (a) fun and enjoyment, (b) positive affect related to equal opportunity and feelings of “normalcy,” (c) social networking/emotional support for families, (d) baseball knowledge and skills, and (e) social interactions with peers.
Anna-Karin Welmer, Annika Mörck and Synneve Dahlin-Ivanoff
The aim of this study was to describe experiences of physical activity, perceived meaning, and the importance of and motives and barriers for participation in physical activity in people 80 years of age and older. A qualitative design with focus-group methodology was used. The sample consisted of 20 community-living people age 80–91 yr. Data analyses revealed 4 themes: physical activity as a part of everything else in life, joie de vivre, fear of disease and dependence, and perceptions of frailty. Our results suggest that physical activity was not seen as a separate activity but rather as a part of activities often rated as more important than the physical activity itself. Thus, when designing physical activity interventions for elderly people, health care providers should consider including time for social interaction and possibilities to be outdoors. Moreover, assessment of physical activity levels among elderly people should include the physical activity in everyday activities.
Alex C. Garn, David R. Ware and Melinda A. Solmon
High school physical education classes provide students with numerous opportunities for social interactions, but few studies have explored how social strivings impact class engagement. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among 2 × 2 achievement goals, social motivation orientations, and effort in high school physical education classes using contemporary goal theory. A total of 105 ninth and tenth grade students reported their social motivation orientations, achievement goal orientations, and effort toward physical education. All four 2 × 2 achievement goals and three social motivation orientations had positive relationships with students’ self-reported effort in physical education. Further regression analysis revealed that mastery approach, performance avoidance, and social status goal orientations accounted for unique variance in explaining self-reported effort in high school physical education. Thus, students’ social strivings produce constructive outcomes in high school physical education and teachers who are able to promote healthy social climates can reap these benefits.
Theresa E. Boggess, David C. Griffey and Lynn D. Housner
Eleven elementary physical education teachers provided information about their perceptions of 251 students’ temperament characteristics and estimates of four student aptitudes: motor ability, social interaction skills, motivation, and to what level of their potential students generally worked. Estimates of the frequency that teachers would attend to each child in typical instructional situations were also gathered. Factor analysis of the temperament measures revealed three independent factors: physical sensitivity, adaptability, and reactivity/task orientation. Teachers’ decisions to attend to children were regressed on temperament factors and student aptitude measures. The findings indicated that motor ability was the most important variable teachers reported they would use in making decisions about allocating their attention during instruction. The temperament factor reactivity/task orientation was the next most important factor. The analyses suggested that teachers would consider adaptability of students only in organizational patterns that include the whole group.
Randy M. Page, James Frey, Richard Talbert and Cindy Falk
Approximately 600 elementary school children (Grades 1-6) completed a loneliness rating scale and several fitness tests. Children who scored within low, average, and high ranges on the loneliness scale were compared to determine whether there were differences in levels of reported performance on fitness tests. ANCOVA tests revealed that lonely children were less physically fit and physically active than were those who were not lonely. Grade-specific analyses revealed that the relationship between levels of loneliness and physical fitness/physical activity appears to be most profound at the third- and fourth-grade levels. The results from this study suggest that lonely children may lack the social and/or physical skills necessary to effectively interact and function in group settings (physical activity is often a social activity for children). This could potentially perpetuate a cycle of poor social interaction, rejection or withdrawal, reduced physical activity, and reduced physical fitness.
Coreen M. Harada and Gary N. Siperstein
The purpose of this study was to examine the sport experience for athletes with intellectual disabilities (ID) who participate in Special Olympics (SO). This study included a nationally representative sample of 1,307 families and 579 athletes in the U.S., focusing on sport involvement over the lifespan and motives for participating and for leaving SO. Athletes with ID are similar to athletes without disabilities in that sport is a significant life experience. They participate in sport for fun (54%) and social interaction (21%). Like athletes without disabilities, SO athletes leave sport because of changes in interest (38%) but also because of program availability (33%). These findings suggest that we continue to document the involvement of people with ID in sports and work to expand the sport opportunities available.
Bonnie L. Tjeerdsma
This study examined cooperating teacher (CT) experiences in and perceptions of the student teaching practicum, and the impact of the practicum on their beliefs about teaching in physical education and on their perceptions of the practicum. Constructivism, particularly social constructivism, provided the theoretical framework. The participants were 7 elementary physical education teachers serving as CTs. The primary data sources were standardized, open-ended interviews with the CTs and journals kept by the CTs throughout the practicum. The results showed that these CTs saw the practicum as a positive experience that caused them to increase reflection on and revitalize their teaching. Few changes were noted from pre- to postpracticum in the CTs’ beliefs about teaching physical education or their perceptions of the practicum. CTs with positive practicum perspectives have in common certain contextual factors and social interactions that differ from CTs with negative perspectives; these are discussed.
Kimberly Place and Samuel R. Hodge
The purpose was to describe the behaviors of eighth-grade students with and without physical disabilities relative to social inclusion in a general physical education program. Participants were 3 girls with physical disabilities and 19 classmates (11 females, 8 males) without disabilities. The method was case study. Data for a 6-week softball unit were collected using videotapes, live observations, and interviews. Findings indicated that students with and without disabilities infrequently engaged in social interactions. Average percentage of time that classmates gave to students with disabilities was 2% social talk and less than 1% in each category for praise, use of first name, feedback, and physical contact. Two themes emerged in this regard: segregated inclusion and social isolation. Students with disabilities interacted with each other to a greater degree than with classmates without disabilities. Analysis of use of academic learning time revealed different percentages for students with and without disabilities.