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Adolescents' Perceptions of Physical Education and their Leisure-time Physical Activity

Satchidanand, Nikhil (2006) Adolescents' Perceptions of Physical Education and their Leisure-time Physical Activity. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The objective of this research study was to explore the relationship between students' perceptions of their physical education (PE) classes and their level of leisure-time physical activity (PA). Three psychosocial constructs (enjoyment, self-efficacy, and social support) were examined in the context of physical education. Past research indicates that these constructs influence participation in leisure-time PA. This study attempted to characterize the influence that PE has on leisure-time PA. This study had two objectives. The first was to understand the relationship between PE and leisure-time PA. Secondly, the relationships among enjoyment, self-efficacy, and social support were examined in order to explore enjoyment as a mediator between both self-efficacy and enjoyment and social support and enjoyment, in the context of PE and leisure-time physical activity. Males and females between 13 and 18 years of age (n = 663) were surveyed in their PE classes by trained volunteers. Enjoyment, self-efficacy and social support were examined using a questionnaire that was developed for this study. Physical activity was assessed using a summer-time PA inventory, from which median minutes per day of PA were calculated for each participant. The results of independent samples t-tests indicate that males reported significantly higher scores on the enjoyment assessment than females, and a significantly higher number of median minutes per day of PA compared to females. Among white students, self-efficacy scores were significantly higher than within the minority sub-group. Results also indicate that 12th graders reported higher scores on the social support assessment than did all remaining grade-levels. Weak to moderate correlations were found among the psychosocial constructs. Results of the regression analyses show that none of the possible covariates were significant predictors of participation in leisure-time PA. Enjoyment was not a mediator between self-efficacy and total PA, and social support and total PA. The sub-group that reported the highest enjoyment scores also reported the most minutes of total PA (males). However, the exact relationship between PE and participation in leisure-time PA is still unclear. Complex factors contribute to peoples' adoption and long term maintenance of PA. Enjoyment, social support, and self-efficacy do not exist independent from one another. Rather, they seem to influence each other. The exact nature of this influence is not fully understood. Future research is still necessary to better understand the complex relationships that were examined.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Satchidanand, Nikhilnis9@pitt.eduNIS9
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGallagher, Jere DGal@pitt.eduGAL
Committee MemberAaron, Deborah Jdebaaron@pitt.eduDEBAARON
Committee MemberBeach, Scottscottb@pitt.eduSCOTTB
Date: 11 May 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 18 March 2006
Approval Date: 11 May 2006
Submission Date: 4 May 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Health, Physical, Recreational Education
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: adolescent health; physical activity; physical education
Other ID:, etd-05042006-102843
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:43
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:43


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