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Gary L. Harrelson, Deidre Leaver-Dunn, A. Louise Fincher and James D. Leeper

The purpose of this study was to examine the inter- and intratester reliability of lower extremity circumference measurements obtained by two testers using the same tape measure and two different tape measures. Twenty-one male high school student-athletes participated in this study. Two testers measured lower extremity circumference at three sites using a standard flexible tape measure and a Lufkin tape measure with a Gulick spring-loaded handle attachment. Measurement sites were medial joint line, 20 cm above medial joint line, and 15 cm below medial joint line. Intraclass correlation coefficients were computed for inter- and intratester comparisons for each measuring device and each measurement site. Results indicated high reliability but a significant difference between the two tape measures. These findings indicate that the reliability of lower extremity circumference measurements is not influenced by tester experience and that the Lufkin tape measure with the Gulick handle attachment is the more accurate of the two tape measures.

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Josh Trout and Kim C. Graber

The purpose of this investigation was to examine overweight students’ perceptions of and experiences in physical education. Specifically, the applicability of learned helplessness as a framework to understand their experiences was explored. Participants were seven female and five male high school students whose body mass index was at or higher than the gender- and age-specific 85th percentile based on Centers for Disease Control growth charts. Data collection included formal interviews with students and their parents. The primary findings indicate that students have mixed opinions concerning the benefits to be derived from physical education. Despite recognizing the relationship between lack of physical activity and obesity, many participants avoided participation because they had been traumatized to the extent of exhibiting symptoms consistent with learned helplessness. Participants demonstrated greater concern about visibility than they did about their performance, which suggests they might engage in physical activity if shielded from the view of peers.

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Herbert W. Marsh

The Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ) is a multidimensional physical self-concept instrument with 11 scales: Strength, Body Fat, Activity, Endurance/Fitness, Sports Competence, Coordination, Health, Appearance, Flexibility, Global Physical, and Global Esteem. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the construct validity of PSDQ responses in relation to 23 external criteria, including measures of body composition, physical activity, endurance, strength, and flexibility for 192 (113 boys and 79 girls) high school students. Each external validity criterion was predicted a priori to be most highly correlated with one of the PSDQ scales. In support of the convergent validity of the PSDQ responses, every predicted correlation was statistically significant. In support of the discriminant validity of the PSDQ responses, most predicted correlations were larger than other correlations involving the same criterion. These results support the construct validity of PSDQ responses in relation to external criteria and their potential usefulness in a wide variety of sports and exercise settings.

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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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Rebecca K. Lytle and Doug Collier

The purpose was to examine adapted physical education (APE) specialists’ perceptions about consultation as a delivery model for individuals with disabilities. Six APE specialists (4 female, 2 male) from California participated in this phenomenological study. Data came from in-depth individual interviews, field observations, researcher notes, and focus group interactions. Analysis revealed distinct categories related to consultation: definition, contextual factors, effectiveness (benefits, barriers, documentation), competency, training, and consultation model preferences. Consultation interactions varied greatly because of the dynamic nature of the educational environment. The use of consultation was more prevalent with middle and high school students. Adapted physical education consultation occurred on a continuum from proximal to distal, dependent on the degree of interaction between the APE specialist, the general education (GE) teacher, and the student. The effectiveness of consultation was dependent upon the GE teacher’s attitude and the APE specialist’s communication skills and competencies.

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Symeon P. Vlachopoulos, Ermioni S. Katartzi and Maria G. Kontou

The present study reported on the modification of the Basic Psychological Needs in Exercise Scale (Vlachopoulos & Michailidou, 2006) to assess students’ psychological need fulfillment in elementary school, middle school, and high school compulsory physical education classes. Data were collected from 817 5th and 6th grade students, 862 middle school students and 844 high school students, boys and girls. The findings supported an a priori correlated 3-factor structure of the Basic Psychological Needs in Physical Education scale (BPN-PE) with strong internal reliability for all three school grade levels. Support was also obtained for the nomological validity of the scale responses. Further, measurement invariance emerged for BPN-PE scores across boys and girls and across students who participated or not in out-of-school sports within each school grade level as well as across all three school grade levels.

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Susan J. Massad, Nathan W. Shier, David M. Koceja and Nancy T. Ellis

Factors influencing nutritional supplement use by high school students were assessed. Comparisons were made between various groups of sports participants and non-sports participants. The Nutritional Supplement Use and Knowledge Scale was administered to 509 students. Mean supplement use score was 10.87 (SEM = 0.50, range 0-57). Mean knowledge score was 13.56 (SEM = 0.16, range 1-21). Significant relationships (p < .01) were obtained for supplement knowledge with use, and supplement use with gender. ANOVA found significant differences between supplement use by gender (p < .01), supplement use by sports category (p < .05), and knowledge scores by sports category (p < .01). Discriminant function analysis indicated knowledge, supplement use, and subscores for protein, vitamins/minerals, and carbohydrates were best discriminators of sport group membership. Greater knowledge about supplements was associated with less use; hence, education about supplements can be a deterrent to use. This study may help coaches, athletic trainers, athletic directors, teachers, physicians, and parents identify nutritional misconceptions held by adolescents.

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David Lubans and Kathy Sylva

This study describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of a structured physical activity intervention designed for high school students (years 11 and 12). A sample of 78 students was randomly allocated to control or intervention conditions for a period of ten weeks. Students in the control group (n = 40) participated in unstructured physical activity in a health and fitness center. Students in the intervention group (n = 38) participated in a ten-week structured health and exercise program based on Banduraʼs social learning theories. At the initial posttest, a number of statistically significant group differences were found using analysis of covariance. The intervention group reported more physical activity and improved exercise self-efficacy in comparison to the control group. At the 3-month follow-up, no statistically significant differences in physical activity were found. Results from this study suggest that a well-organized exercise-based program can be effective in increasing physical activity behavior of adolescents on a short-term basis.

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Ron E. McBride

Six physical education specialists—two elementary, two junior high, and two high school (three males and three females)—were studied in an attempt to discern possible sex-role stereotyping in their classes. Data were triangulated from teacher observations, a sex-role inventory, and junior and senior high school student perceptions of teacher treatment in physical education classes. Results revealed that the female teachers used more managerial cues in their classes and called boys by name more frequently than did male teachers. Two male teachers were classified as being gender typed, but results from students of both sexes revealed no perceived differential treatment in class. From this teacher sample, the results suggest that perhaps the gymnasium is not quite the bastion of gender typing as is often assumed. Due to the small sample size, results were not generalized to a larger population and thus additional research is recommended.

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Laura Azzarito and Melinda A. Solmon

The study of the social construction of the body has become crucial to contemporary academic discourses in education and physical education. Employing feminist poststructuralist theory and a qualitative ethnographic design, this study investigated how high school students identified themselves with images of bodies drawn from fitness and sports magazines, and how their body narratives were linked to their participation in physical education. Students’ body narratives reflected notions of comfortable, bad, and borderland bodies that influenced students’ physical activity choices and engagement in physical education. Girls’ narratives of their physicality were found to be significantly less comfortable than boys’. Critical pedagogy to destabilize gendered dominant discourses of mass media body culture and to develop positive, meaningful, and empowering student physicality is discussed.