Award Date

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Sports Education Leadership

Department

Sports Education Leadership

Advisor 1

Monica Lounsbery, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Jerry Landwer

Second Committee Member

Timothy Bungum

Graduate Faculty Representative

Chad Cross

Number of Pages

93

Abstract

This study examined recent high school graduates' knowledge about physical activity (PA) guidelines and disease related to sedentary lifestyle. Using a cross-sectional descriptive design, focus was on assessing knowledge performance and relating it to gender, ethnicity, PA behavior, and conceptualizations about high school health education (HE) and physical education (PE). Study participants were 394 recent high school graduates between the ages of 18-20 years of age. Participants completed a questionnaire designed to measure knowledge about PA guidelines and disease associated with sedentary lifestyle. In addition, the questionnaire also comprised items designed to capture demographical information and provide some information about respondents' PA behavior and high school HE and PE.

The mean score of knowledge about PA guidelines and disease related to sedentary lifestyle were 13.01 (SD=1.99, 68.8%) and 5.37 (SD=2.05, 53.7% respectively). No significant relationships were found between knowledge of PA guidelines and diseases related to sedentary lifestyle, and conceptualization of high school HE and PE. Multiple regression analysis revealed that gender and PA behavior were significant predictors of knowledge about PA guidelines ( F (5, 1391) = 13.395, p < .001, R 2 = .046). Gender contributed to 17.3% of the variance in knowledge about PA guidelines, while PA behavior had 15.2%. Gender and ethnicity were also significant predictors of knowledge of disease related to sedentary lifestyle ( F (5, 1391) = 5.864, p < .001, R 2 = .021). Gender contributed 9.5% of the variance in knowledge about disease related to sedentary lifestyle, while ethnicity contributed 9.2%. Other results showed that as respondents matriculated through high school, dramatically fewer enrolled in PE (88.6% as a freshman and only 22.8% as a senior) and HE (67% as a freshman and only 7.6% as a senior). Sport and nutrition were the most frequently reported conceptualizations of PE and HE respectively.

Recent high school graduates' performance on knowledge of PA guidelines and diseases related to sedentary lifestyle was very poor. While the results of this study fail to find PA behavior or conceptualization of HE and PE as salient variables associated with knowledge performances, in addition to the poor knowledge performance, the study did provide valuable information regarding the low enrollment patterns in high school HE and PE with most individuals enrolling as freshman. While only subjective, it is interesting that respondents mostly conceptualized PE as sport oriented and HE as nutrition oriented as these data provide respondents' perspectives as to what was emphasized in these courses. These data do raise the question of where the general public information access points are for gaining knowledge about PA guidelines and disease associated with sedentary lifestyle and that this content may not be what is emphasized in the PE or HE high school curriculum.

Keywords

Health education; High school graduates; Knowledge; Physical activity; Physical education; Sedentary lifestyle

Disciplines

Public Health Education and Promotion | Sports Sciences

Language

English


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