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Tao Zhang, Katherine Thomas, and Karen Weiller

The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations among predisposing (perceived competence and enjoyment), reinforcing (social environments), enabling factors (motor skills, fitness, physical environments) and physical activity among 288 children, and to identify the age and gender differences among participants. The children completed previously validated questionnaires assessing their perceived competence, enjoyment, school social and physical environments, and physical activity. Physical fitness was measured by FITNESSGRAM fitness testing. Students’ motor skills were assessed by PE Metrics. The results indicated that perceived competence and enjoyment predicted physical activity for boys, while perceived competence was the only predictor for girls. Age effects for fitness and skill were significant, as were gender differences for skill, social environment and perceived competence. This study suggests the importance of supportive teachers who provide enjoyable physical education that builds perceived competence for children to improve fitness, motor skill development and physical activity participation. The results support associations between predisposing factors and self-reported physical activity as theorized within the social ecological model.

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Stanislaw H. Czyz and Abel L. Toriola

A worldwide survey by Hardman and Marshall (2001) indicated a decline in the state and status of Physical Education (PE) in many countries. Using a modified Physical Education and School Sport (PESS) questionnaire (Bailey and Dismore, 2005), we examined age and gender differences in the perception and value orientation of PESS among 285 children in South-West Poland. Data analysis yielded marked age and gender differences with respect to feelings about PESS, its importance relative to other school subjects and development of social skills. Children’s responses were categorized as physical, cognitive, social, affective, lifestyle and environmental based on the outcomes and benefits of PESS (Bailey, 2006). The children attributed their positive feelings toward PESS and favorite part of PESS to the physical domain. This finding was consistent across age and gender categories, except that a tendency toward decline in the importance of the physical domain was found among older children. The need for learners’ value orientation to be considered by teachers and curriculum developers to design and implement quality PESS programs is discussed.

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Donald L. Greer and Michael J. Stewart

Beginning with the work of Webb (1969), a line of research has developed attempting to explain how the socialization experiences of children and adolescents help transform their attitudes toward play. In Webb's view, the transformation to a state of being "professionalized" has occurred when an emphasis on equity and fairness, which are pronounced at earlier stages of development, has been replaced by a focus on winning. The body of research that has developed from this original formulation has consistently identified age and gender differences (Loy, Birrell, & Rose, 1976; Maloney & Petrie, 1972; Mantel & VanderVelden, 1971) in play attitudes, with males being more highly professionalized than females, and adolescents and young adults more professionalized than preadolescents. Webb's research identified age, social class, and religious differences in play orientation and made a strong argument that attitudinal transformations represent a coming together of the worlds of play and work:

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C.K. John Wang and Stuart J.H. Biddle

A great deal has been written about the motivation of young people in physical activity, and the determinants of activity for this age group have been identified as a research priority. Despite this, there are few large-scale studies identifying “types” or “clusters” of young people based on their scores on validated motivation inventories. This study reports the results of a cluster analysis of a large national sample (n = 2,510) of 12- to 15-year-olds using contemporary approaches to physical activity motivation: achievement goal orientations, self-determination theory (including amotivation), the nature of athletic ability beliefs, and perceived competence. Five meaningful clusters were identified reflecting two highly motivated and two less well-motivated clusters, as well as a clearly amotivated cluster. Groupings were validated by investigating differences in physical activity participation and perceptions of physical self-worth. Some clusters reflected age and gender differences. The results provide valuable information for likely strategies to promote physical activity in young people.

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Kin-Kit Li, Sheung-Tak Cheng, and Helene H. Fung

This study compared message-framing effects on physical activity (PA) across age and gender groups. Participants included 111 younger and 100 older adults (68% were women), randomly assigned to read gain-framed or loss-framed PA messages in promotion pamphlets, and who wore accelerometers for the following 14 days. Using regression analyses controlling for demographic and health factors, we found significant age-by-gender-by-framing interactions predicting self-report (B = −4.39, p = .01) and accelerometer-assessed PA (B = −2.44, p = .02) during the follow-up period. Gain-framed messages were more effective than loss-framed messages in promoting PA behaviors only among older men. We speculated that the age-related positivity effect, as well as the age and gender differences in issue involvement, explained the group differences in framing. In addition, more time availability and higher self-efficacy among older men might have contributed to the results.

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Adam Nicholls, Remco Polman, David Morley, and Natalie J. Taylor

An aim of this paper was to discover whether athletes of different pubertal status, chronological age, and gender reported distinct coping strategies in response to stress during a competitive event in their sport. A secondary aim was to examine pubertal status group, chronological age, and gender differences in coping effectiveness. Participants were adolescent athletes (n = 527), classified as beginning-pubertal (n = 59), midpubertal (n = 189), advanced-pubertal (n = 237), and postpubertal (n = 22). Findings revealed that there were small, but significant differences in how athletes of different pubertal status and chronological age coped. There were also significant differences between how athletes of different pubertal status perceived the effectiveness of their coping strategies. Interestingly, our results suggested that the relationship between pubertal status and coping and coping effectiveness is different from the relationship between chronological age and coping and coping effectiveness.

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Sarah K. Piebes, Alison R. Snyder, R. Curtis Bay, and Tamara C. Valovich McLeod


Recurrent headaches significantly affect health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in adults; the impact of headache on HRQOL among adolescents is unknown, and the psychometric properties of headache-specific outcomes instruments have not been adequately studied in this population.


To evaluate the psychometric properties of the Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) and Pediatric Migraine Disability Assessment (PedMIDAS) in healthy adolescent athletes.


Descriptive survey.


High school athletic training facilities during the fall sports season.


177 high school athletes (89 males and 88 females).


A survey consisting of a demographic and concussion-history questionnaire, a graded symptom scale, the HIT-6, and the PedMIDAS. Internal consistency (α), test–retest reliability (r s), Bland-Altman analyses, and the Mann-Whitney U test were used to evaluate psychometric properties and age and gender differences.

Main Outcome Measures:

The HIT-6 and PedMIDAS item and total scores.


Test–retest reliability for the HIT-6 total score was r s = .72, and reliability of individual items ranged from r s = .52 to .67. The test–retest reliability for the PedMIDAS total score was r s = .61, and reliability of individual items ranged from r s = .23 to .62. Both scales demonstrated acceptable internal consistency: HIT-6 α = .89−.90 and PedMIDAS α = .71−.75.


The authors found moderate test–retest reliability for the HIT-6 and the PedMIDAS in a healthy adolescent athlete population. Research on the applicability and utility of the HIT-6 and PedMIDAS in concussed adolescents is warranted.

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Maureen R. Weiss and Alan L. Smith

The purpose of this study was to examine age and gender differences in the quality of sport friendship, assess the relationship between friendship quality and motivation related variables, and obtain additional support for the validity of the Sport Friendship Quality Scale (SFQS; Weiss & Smith, 1999). Tennis players (N = 191, ages 10–18 years) completed the SFQS and other measures salient to the questions of the study. A MANOVA revealed that adolescent athletes ages 14–18 years rated loyalty and intimacy, things in common, and conflict higher than did younger players, ages 10–13 years, who in turn rated companionship and pleasant play higher. Girls rated self-esteem enhancement and supportiveness, loyalty and intimacy, and things in common higher than did boys, who rated conflict higher. Regression analysis indicated that companionship and pleasant play, conflict resolution, and things in common predicted higher tennis enjoyment and commitment. The collective findings—confirmation of the SFQS six-factor structure, relationships between sport friendship quality dimensions and peer acceptance, and relationships of sport friendship quality dimensions with Harter’s (1988) close friendship measure—support the validity of the SFQS.

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Helen C. Wright, David A. Sugden, Richard Ng, and John Tan

This investigation is concerned with the identification and assessment of Singaporean primary school children who have developmental coordination disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 1987). The present study forms part of a larger project concerned with the suitability of currently available assessment techniques and intervention programs for use in Singapore. In this paper the usefulness of the Movement ABC Checklist and Test as an assessment instrument is explored. The data on a sample of 212 7- and 8-year-olds compared favorably with data from the standardized sample in the United Kingdom. Age and gender differences were similar, and the effects of increasing task difficulty within the checklist were generally confirmed. The checklist identified 15.6% of children as having movement problems or being at risk, which was close to the value obtained in the U.K. The Movement ABC Test provided evidence of the validity of this figure as it successfully differentiated the selected children from age-matched controls who scored well on the checklist. Although some of the items in both instruments need modification, the results suggest that the Movement ABC package is a workable research tool in the Singaporean context.

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Thelma S. Horn, Susan D. Glenn, and Amy B. Wentzell

This study was conducted to test whether there are age and gender differences in the criteria that high school athletes use to evaluate their ability in sport contexts. To test this issue, 435 high school athletes from a variety of sports were administered the Sport Competence information Questionnaire which provides a measure of preference for 10 competence information sources. A 2 × 2 (Gender × Age Level) MANOVA revealed that older adolescents were more apt to use self-comparison/internal information, goal achievement, and sport attraction/enjoyment to judge their sport ability while younger athletes were more dependent on the evaluation of peers. In addition, females scored higher than males on the use of self-comparison/internal information and on evaluative feedback from significant others. In contrast, males scored higher on the use of competitive outcomes and speed/ease of learning to evaluate personal sport competence. The results indicate that high school athletes do vary in the sources of information they use to judge their sport competence, and that gender and age can account for a significant amount of that variation.