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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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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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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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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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Antonio Baena-Extremera, Manuel Gómez-López, Antonio Granero-Gallegos and Maria del Mar Ortiz-Camacho

The purpose of this research study was to determine to what extent the motivational climate perceived by students in Physical Education (PE) classes predicts self-determined motivation, and satisfaction with physical education classes. Questionnaires were administered to 758 high school students aged 13-18 years. We used the Spanish versions of the PE adaptations of instruments: Sport Satisfaction Instrument, Sport Motivation Scale and Learning and Performance Orientations in PE Classes Questionnaire. We conducted a descriptive statistical analysis and correlations with structural equation modeling. The results showed the highest mean values in satisfaction/fun, intrinsic motivation and motivational task-oriented climate. By using a structural equation model, we found a positive association between a task-oriented climate and students’ intrinsic motivation (γ=.69) and their satisfaction in PE classes (β=.56).

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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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Jayne M. Jenkins, Alex Garn and Patience Jenkins

The purpose of this study was to identify what and how preservice teachers observe when peer coaching during an early field experience. Twenty-three male and 14 female preservice teachers trained in peer coaching participated in the study. Coaches observed a peer partner teach five 40-min lessons to small groups of elementary or junior high school students in a semester-long second practicum experience. During observation, coaches completed a Peer Coaching Form that included a praise statement and observation notes. A total of 169 Peer Coaching Forms containing 946 statements were collected and analyzed using traditional, naturalistic methods of inductive analysis. Three themes emerged: (a) systematic observation, (b) theory to practice, and (c) students as individuals. Observation changes occurring across the semester suggest peer coaching needs to occur over an extended period of time emphasizing the role of coach as observer for optimal teacher knowledge development.

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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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Herbert W. Marsh

The similarity of the constructs measured by the Perceptions of Success Questionnaire (POS; Roberts, 1993) and the Sports Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ; Gill, 1993) were evaluated using (a) confirmatory factor analyses of responses by 395 high school students (217 males, 178 females, ages 12 to 18) to items adapted from the two instruments and (b) relations to external criteria. Although the POS Mastery and SOQ Goal scales were highly related and reflected task orientation, the SOQ Competitiveness scale was more highly correlated with the POS Mastery and SOQ Goal scales than with the POS Competitiveness scale. Apparently, competitiveness assessed by the SOQ reflects a task orientation, whereas the POS Competitiveness scale reflects primarily an ego orientation. Sport psychologists need to beware of jingle (scales with the same label reflect the same construct) and jangle (scales with different labels measure different construct) fallacies, and pursue construct validity studies more vigorously to test the interpretations of measures.

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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.