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Florence Guérin, Herbert W. Marsh and Jean-Pierre Famose

Two studies tested the generalizability of support for within- and between-construct validity based on responses to a French translation of the Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ) by high school students. The PSDQ is a multidimensional physical self-concept instrument designed to measure 11 components: health, coordination, physical activity, body fat, sports competence, global physical, appearance, strength, flexibility, endurance, and esteem. In the first study (N = 752), preliminary reliability analysis revealed strong internal consistency and overall stability. Confirmatory factor analysis provided support for structural equivalence with the original instrument. In the second study (N = 288), PSDQ factors were related to 13 external criteria of physical fitness; each was predicted a priori to be most highly correlated with one of the PSDQ scales. Bivariate correlations and CFA models supported both the convergent and discriminant validity of the PSDQ responses. These overall results demonstrated good support for the generalizability of the PSDQ with French adolescents.

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Mary D. Walling and Joan L. Duda

This study examined the relationship of students’ goal orientation to their beliefs about what leads to success in physical education and perceptions of the purposes of physical education. High school students (N = 144,78 females and 66 males) completed a modified version of the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire and measures of beliefs and perceived purposes specific to physical education class. Results indicated that students high in task orientation were significantly more likely to believe that success is achieved through intrinsic interest/effort/cooperation than were those low in task orientation. High ego-oriented students believed that success is achieved when students possess high ability more so than low ego-oriented students. The high task/low ego students were most likely to reject the notion that success in physical education occurs when students know how to use deceptive tactics and were less likely to perceive that an important function of physical education is to provide an easy class.

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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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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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Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville, Christophe Gernigon, Marie-Laure Huet, Fayda Winnykamen and Marielle Cadopi

The purposes of this study were to qualitatively analyze peer interaction in dyads practicing a swimming skill, and to examine the potential dyad type-by-gender differences in observed peer interaction modes. Sixty-four senior high school students (32 M, 32 F) trained for 8 min either in symmetrical (same competence) or asymmetrical (different competence levels) same-sex dyads. The numbers of attempts and performance scores were also documented for novices. The observed peer interaction modes consisted of guidance-tutoring, imitation, cooperation, and parallel activity. Multivariate and univariate analyses revealed that tutoring and imitation were manifested more in asymmetrical dyads, while cooperation and parallel activity were more frequent in symmetrical dyads. Males in symmetrical dyads displayed the most parallel activity. Males carried out more attempts than females. Regarding performance, males in asymmetrical dyads benefited more from training than the other groups did. Similarities and differences with findings observed in the academic domain are discussed.

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Jane M. Shimon and Linda M. Petlichkoff

Background:

The aim of this study was to determine the impact of pedometer use and self-regulation strategies on adolescents’ daily physical activity.

Methods:

Junior high school students (n = 113) enrolled in seventh- and eighth-grade physical education classes (52 girls, 61 boys) volunteered to participate in a 5-week study to assess daily step counts. Ten physical education classes were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: (a) self-regulation, (b) open, and (c) control.

Results:

A repeated-measures, mixed-model analysis of variance revealed a significant 3 × 4 (Group by Time) interaction effect, F6,290 = 2.64, P < .02. Follow-up analyses indicated participants in the self-regulation group took 2071 to 4141 more steps/d than the control. No other significant differences emerged among groups on step counts.

Conclusions:

It appears that having access to and charting daily step counts (ie, self-regulatory strategies) positively influenced young adolescents to attain a higher number of steps/d.

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Gary D. Kinchin and Mary O’Sullivan

While there have been frequent calls for reform in secondary physical education, little research has focused on the implementation and assessment of curriculum from the perspective of students. Drawing upon the theoretical frame of student resistance, the purpose of this study was to describe how high school students demonstrated support for and resistance to implementation of a 20- day curricular initiative termed a Cultural Studies unit. This approach consists of an integrated practical and theoretical study of sport and physical activity. Data were collected through student focus group interviews, student journals, nonparticipant observations, and informal conversations. Students responded favorably to the principles of Sport Education and the opportunities to critique issues of social justice. Such content was considered appropriate for physical education. Resistance to some aspects of the unit was both overt and covert. Meticulous and careful planning of content and choice of pedagogy to facilitate delivery is crucial to positioning a Cultural Studies unit in a high school program.

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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.

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Athanasios Papaioannou

This study examined how perceived motivational climate in physical education is related to (a) perceptions of teachers’ differential treatment toward high and low achievers, (b) reported motivation and anxiety of children with high and low perceived competence during play or exercise with high- or low-ability children. One thousand three hundred ninety-three high school students completed measures of the above variables. The perception of teacher’s differential treatment was positively related to the perception of an environment emphasizing social comparison and negatively related to the perception of a climate emphasizing personal progress. Perceived competence had no effect on intrinsic motivation when extremely high learning goals were adopted. When low learning goals were adopted, motivation decreased for children with low perceived ability playing with high achievers and for children with high perceived ability playing with low achievers. A high learning-oriented climate should be created to enhance equality and maximize motivation.

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Kathleen E. Miller, Grace M. Barnes, Don Sabo, Merrill J. Melnick and Michael P. Farrell

Contrary to popular assumption, adolescent anabolic-androgenic steroid use is not limited to serious male athletes. This paper examines the relationships among gender, athletic participation, and health-related problem behaviors among adolescent steroid users. Regression analyses were performed on a nationally representative sample of over 16,000 high school students (the 1997 Youth Risk Behavior Survey), of whom nearly 500 had used steroids. Compared to nonusers, steroid users were significantly more likely to report substance use, suicidal behavior, and sexual risk-taking; however, patterns of risk behavior varied by the user’s athletic status and gender. After controlling for age, race, ethnicity, and parental education, both athletic participation and female gender were negatively associated with most risk behaviors among users of anabolic steroids.