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ERIC Number: EJ856985
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
Field Dependence-Independence and Physical Activity Engagement among Middle School Students
Liu, Wenhao; Chepyator-Thomson, Jepkorir Rose
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v14 n2 p125-136 Apr 2009
Background: Field dependence-independence (FDI) is a tendency to rely on external frames (given situations and authoritative people) or internal frames (oneself, including one's own body) for one's information processing and behavior. Literature has constantly reported that field-dependent (FD) individuals, who are less autonomous in decision-making processes and less effective in detecting and using body information (kinesthetic feedback and proprioceptive awareness), tend to demonstrate less desirable performance in sport, motor learning, and physical education settings compared with their field-independent (FI) counterparts. Little attempt, however, has been made to investigate whether FD individuals have less desirable physical activity (PA) levels than FI individuals. Lack of knowledge might pose a potential risk of health problems to FD individuals. Purpose: This study was intended to investigate and compare PA levels as well as organized sports participation between FI and FD middles school students. It was hypothesized that FDI would be associated with higher PA levels and more participation in organized sports for FI students as opposed to FD students. Participants and setting: One hundred and thirty eight middle school students (72 girls and 66 boys) in the USA participated in data collection of this study. Of these 138 participants, 46 FI participants (22 girls and 24 boys) and 46 FD participants (24 girls and 22 boys) were identified as final participants whose data were analyzed. Research design: A cross-sectional design was utilized in this study. Participants were grouped based on their FDI status, gender, and cross-classification of FDI status and gender to compare PA variables and participation in organized sports. FDI status and gender were independent variables, and PA variables and participation in organized sports were dependent variables. Data collection: The Rod-and-Frame Test was used to identify FI and FD participants, the Self-Administered Physical Activity Checklist was administered to determine participants' PA amounts, and a demographic inventory was employed to obtain information regarding participants' participation in organized sports. Data analysis: A two-way (FDI x gender) MANOVA was used to detect differences in PA variables among groups, and a Chi-square analysis was employed to test independence of FDI from participation in organized sports. An alpha of 0.05 was set for significant levels. Findings: This study revealed the contrasting PA levels and participation in organized sports between the FI and FD students. The FD students demonstrated much lower PA levels and were less engaged in organized sports than the FI students. Further, the FD students tended to choose activities that were less related to sports, resulting in shorter PA minutes and lower energy expenditure compared with the FI students. Conclusions: FDI is related to PA levels in addition to being related to sport, motor learning, and physical education. Specifically, FD students have lower sports potential and are less physically active compared with FI students and this could put FD students at a higher risk level in terms of health problems now and in the future. Lifestyle PA and other non-competitive activities might be good choices for FD students to enhance their PA levels. (Contains 1 figure and 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A