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ERIC Number: EJ776158
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0273-5024
Chapter 6: Children's Environmental Access in Relation to Motor Competence, Physical Activity, and Fitness
Erwin, Heather E.; Woods, Amelia Mays; Woods, Martha K.; Castelli, Darla M.
Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, v26 n4 p404-415 Oct 2007
The purpose of this study was to examine levels of physical activity engagement, motor competence, and physical fitness as related to child access to physical activity facilities in the home and school environments. The present investigation attempts to further efforts to examine the relationship between physical activity levels and access. Although it is hypothesized that such a relationship exists, some research suggests otherwise. Thus, identifying determinants of physical activity is timely given trends of increased sedentary behavior among youth. Forty-seven children, aged 6 to 13, were recruited from Year 4 of the summer physical activity program. During the summer program, each participant completed a questionnaire addressing her or his access to physical activity opportunities in the home, neighborhood, and school. Other measures included: (1) a 3-day physical activity recall; (2) five Fitnessgram assessments evaluating cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition; and (3) South Carolina Physical Education Assessment Program rubrics for basketball, paddles, and throwing. Results indicated that access to a greater number of physical activity supports was weakly correlated with motor skill proficiency in specific sports skills as well as with higher levels of certain health-related fitness components. For these participants, it appears that having more physical activity supports available may play a role in higher motor skill performance and elevated levels of fitness. In contrast, access was not related to increased amounts of physical activity time among these participants. Additionally, gender showed no influence on youth physical activity. Certain motor skills were influenced by access to equipment or facilities (e.g., basketball and paddles), whereas others were not (e.g., throwing). It is possible that throwing was not highly correlated with access because it is an activity that can be performed virtually anywhere, and balls and other throwing objects are readily available. In contrast, participation in basketball and with paddles generally requires more equipment (e.g., basketball and hoop, tennis ball and racket) and a specific place to play (basketball court and tennis court). Based on social cognitive theory, the environment and motor skill performance interacted with one another to elicit a positive outcome on motor skill proficiency. Participants either demonstrated improved performance owing to access within their environments, or they chose to put themselves in a position to accumulate motor skill practice. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina