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A Multi-factorial Analysis of the Factors Affecting Elementary Students’ Interest in Physical Education Considering Students’ Ethnicity and Gender | Chapter 5 | New Visions in Medicine and Medical Science Vol. 4

 Background: Student attitudes toward education are of great concern to educators around the world. Fostering Student’s positive interest in physical education is of great concern in academia. More importantly, the rationale as to why one would maintain a positive interest in physical education is of concern. These topics have been widely researched. However, the comparison of gender and ethnicity as it relates to students’ interest in physical education is a novel investigation. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the relationship between elementary student’s interest in physical education considering gender, ethnicity, curricular and teacher influences, and student’s perceived competency.

Methods: Participants included 99 fifth-grade elementary school students (62 males, 37 females). Participant selection was conducted by utilizing 6 intact physical education classes from a single culturally diverse elementary school. Racial and ethnic distribution for fifth graders consists of 54.69% Caucasian, 37.50% African American, and 2.34% Hispanic, 4.69% Asian, and .78% Multicul¬tural. The Physical Education Interest Questionnaire was the instrument used for this study as well as open-ended questions for qualitative analysis [1]. Statistical analysis was done to analyze the collected data.

Results: Findings indicated that students, regardless of ethnicity and gender, maintained a positive interest in physical education. However, male students maintained greater interest in physical education than female students, irrespective of ethnicity. Caucasian students maintained significantly higher interest than other ethnicities. Perceived competence had the most effect on students’ overall interest. Answers to open-ended questions supported these results.

Conclusion: Although this study identified that a positive interest in physical education regardless of the subjects’ gender and ethnicity existed, future instructors must consider teaching non-mainstream individual fitness activities to students. This would lead to increased individual perceived competency and continued positive interest in physical education. The study suggests that future adults need to be encouraged to continue to be physically active throughout life not only while they are young, thus reducing the obesity epidemic plaguing our society.

Author(s) Details:

John D Hatten,
Keiser University, United States.

James C Hannon,
Kent State University, United States.

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