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Herbert W. Marsh, Garry E. Richards, Steven Johnson, Lawrence Roche and Patsy Tremayne

Two samples of high school students (n = 315 and n = 395) completed the new Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to demonstrate support for the 11 scales of physical self-concept (Strength, Body Fat, Activity, Endurance/Fitness, Sport Competence, Coordination, Health, Appearance, Flexibility, General Physical Self-Concept, and Self-Esteem) that the PSDQ is designed to measure, the replicability of its good psychometric properties in the two samples, and the replicability of the factor structure over gender. Subjects in Sample 1 also completed responses to the Physical Self-Perception Profile (Fox, 1990) and the Physical Self-Concept Scale (Richards, 1988). CFA models of this multitrait-multimethod data provided support for both the convergent and discriminant validity of responses to the three instruments. Comparisons of psychometric, theoretical, and pragmatic considerations of the three instruments led to the recommendation of the PSDQ in a wide variety of research and applied settings.

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Jodee A. Schaben, Gregory J. Welk, Roxane Joens-Matre and Larry Hensley

Understanding physical activity (PA) correlates in youth is challenging due to the inherent changes in activity patterns, activity preferences, and social norms that occur during the normal developmental transition from childhood into adolescence. This study examines possible age-related differences in physical activity correlates using the Children’s Physical Activity Correlates Scale (CPAC). The Children’s Physical Activity Questionnaire (PAQ) was used to measure typical levels of PA. Results indicate high school youth had lower levels of PA and lower levels on the psychosocial correlates than middle school youth. Parental influence accounted for ~ 15% of the variance in PA while the predisposing factors (perceived competence, attraction to PA) accounted for 20% and 17% of the variance for middle and high school students, respectively. CPAC has similar predictive validity across the age range. The CPAC scale offers potential to help understand factors that influence physical activity behavior during the transition from childhood into adolescence.

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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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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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Molly Yanity and Aimee C. Edmondson

Coverage of the recruitment of high school athletes has exploded in the last decade as the advent of the Internet turned a once-obscure type of coverage into a multimillion-dollar industry. The demand for information about college football recruits has led to new ethical challenges for Web-based publications. This survey of sport media identifies some of the ethical challenges associated with such coverage and proposes a code of ethics for Web-based media outlets. Media covering high school recruiting can use these guidelines to gain and maintain credibility, to uphold a high level of ethics, and to avoid restrictions or rules mandated by an outside source in a specialized beat where high school students are the primary subjects.

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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.

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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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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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Virginie Nicaise, Geneviève Cogérino, Julien Bois and Anthony J. Amorose

Feedback is considered a critical teaching function, and researchers in sport pedagogy have shown interest in verifying its importance in physical education. Many observational studies have found that boys receive more attention and feedback, particularly praise, criticism, and technical information, than girls. Nevertheless, little is known about students’ perceptions of teacher–student interactions. The aim of this study was to investigate whether students’ perceptions of teacher feedbacks are gender-differentiated in physical education, as well as to determine how perceived feedback is related to students’ perceptions of competence. French high school students (N = 450: 200 boys, 250 girls) completed questionnaires assessing their perceptions of their teachers’ feedback and their perceptions of competence. Results indicated gender differences in the set of variables. Furthermore, the influence of teacher feedback on girls’ perceptions of competence was strong, whereas little relationship was found for boys. These findings are then discussed in terms of teaching effectiveness.

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Jianmin Guan, Ron E. McBride and Ping Xiang

Two types of social goals associated with students’ academic performance have received attention from researchers. One is the social responsibility goal, and the other is the social relationship goal. While several scales have been validated for measuring social relationship and social responsibility goals in academic settings, few studies have applied these social goal scales to high school students in physical education settings. The purpose of this study was to assess the reliability, validity, and generalizability of the scores produced by the Social Goal Scale-Physical Education (SGS-PE) in high school settings. Participants were 544 students from two high schools in the southern United States. Reliability analyses, principal components factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and multistep invariance analysis across two school samples revealed that the SGS-PE produced reliable and valid scores when used to assess students’ social goal levels in high school physical education settings.