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2017 C.H. McCloy Lecture: The Intersections of Science and Practice: Examples from FitnessGram® Programming
– Gregory J. Welk
The FitnessGram® program has provided teachers with practical tools to enhance physical education programming. A key to the success of the program has been the systematic application of science to practice. Strong research methods have been used to develop assessments and standards for use in physical education, but consideration has also been given to ensure that programming meets the needs of teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders. This essay summarizes some of these complex and nuanced intersections between science and practice with the FitnessGram® program. The commentaries are organized into 5 brief themes: science informing practice; practice informing science; balancing science and practice; promoting evidence-based practice; and the integration of science and practice. The article draws on personal experiences with the FitnessGram® program and is prepared based on comments shared during the 37th Annual C. H. McCloy Research Lecture at the 2017 SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators Convention.
Genetic and Environmental Influences on Developmental Milestones and Movement: Results from the Gemini Cohort study
Physical Education Students’ Ownership, Empowerment, and Satisfaction with PE and Physical Activity
–Lee Smith, Cornelia H.M. van Jaarsveld, Clare H. Llewellyn, Alison Fildes, Guillermo Felipe López Sánchez, Jane Wardle, and Abigail Fisher
Purpose: Variability in the timing of infant developmental milestones is poorly understood. We used a twin analysis to estimate genetic and environmental influences on motor development and activity levels in infancy.
A Systematic Review of Life Skill Development through Sports Programmes Serving Socially Vulnerable Youth
Method: Data were from the Gemini Study, a twin birth cohort of 2,402 families with twins born in the United Kingdom in 2007. Parents reported motor activity level for each of the twins at age 3 months using the Revised Infant Behavior Rating Scale and reported the ages at which they first sat unsupported, crawled, and walked unaided.
Results: Activity level at 3 months and ages when first sitting and crawling were about equally influenced by the shared family environment (45%–54%) and genes (45%–48%). Genetic influences dominated for age when children took their first independent steps (84%).
Conclusion: Aspects of the shared family environment appear to be important influences on motor activity levels and early milestones, although the timing of walking may have a stronger genetic influence. Further research to identify the specific environmental and genetic factors that promote early activity may be important for longer-term health outcomes.
–Niels Hermens, Sabina Super, Kirsten T. Verkooijen, and Maria A. Koelen
Purpose: Despite the strong belief in sports programs as a setting in which socially vulnerable youth can develop life skills, no overview exists of life skill development in sports programs serving this youth group. Therefore, the present systematic review provides an overview of the evidence on life skill development in sports programs serving socially vulnerable youth and, insofar as it was investigated in the included studies, of the conditions conducive to life skill development in these sports programs.
Experiences of Individuals with Visual Impairments in Integrated Physical Education: A Retrospective Study
Method: Potentially relevant studies published during 1990 to 2014 were identified by a search in 7 electronic databases. The search combined terms relating to (a) sport, (b) youth AND socially vulnerable, and (c) life skills. Eighteen of the 2,076 unique studies met the inclusion criteria.
Results: Each included study reported that at least 1 life skill improved in youth who participated in the studied sports program. Improvements in cognitive and social life skills were more frequently reported than were improvements in emotional life skills. Only a few of the included studies investigated the conditions in the studied sports programs that made these programs conducive to life skill development.
Conclusion: Sports programs have the potential to make a difference in the life skill development of socially vulnerable youth. This conclusion needs to be treated with some caution, because the studies experienced many challenges in reducing the risk for bias. Several alternative research strategies are suggested for future studies in this field.
–Justin A. Haegele and Xihe Zhu
Purpose: The purpose of this retrospective study was to examine the experiences of adults with visual impairments during school-based integrated physical education (PE).
High versus Low Theoretical Fidelity Pedometer Intervention Using Social Cognitive Theory on Steps and Self-Efficacy
Method: An interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) research approach was used and 16 adults (ages 21–48 years; 10 women, 6 men) with visual impairments acted as participants for this study. The primary sources of data were semistructured audiotaped telephone interviews and reflective field notes, which were recorded during and immediately following each interview. Thematic development was undertaken utilizing a 3-step analytical process guided by IPA.
Results: Based on the data analysis, 3 interrelated themes emerged from the participant transcripts: (a) feelings about “being put to the side,” frustration and inadequacy; (b) “She is blind, she can’t do it,” debilitating feelings from physical educators’ attitudes; and (c) “not self-esteem raising,” feelings about peer interactions. The 1st theme described the participants’ experiences and ascribed meaning to exclusionary practices. The 2nd theme described the participants’ frustration over being treated differently by their PE teachers because of their visual impairments. Lastly, “not self-esteem raising,” feelings about peer interactions demonstrated how participants felt about issues regarding challenging social situations with peers in PE.
Conclusion: Utilizing an IPA approach, the researchers uncovered 3 interrelated themes that depicted central feelings, experiences, and reflections, which informed the meaning of the participants’ PE experiences. The emerged themes provide unique insight into the embodied experiences of those with visual impairments in PE and fill a previous gap in the extant literature.
–Thomas D. Raedeke and Deirdre M. Dlugonski
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare a low versus high theoretical fidelity pedometer intervention applying social-cognitive theory on step counts and self-efficacy.
Postpartum Mothers’ Leisure-Time Exercise Behavior is Linked to Positive Emotion during Partner Discussions
Method: Fifty-six public university employees participated in a 10-week randomized controlled trial with 2 conditions that varied in theoretical fidelity. Participants in the high theoretical fidelity condition wore a pedometer and participated in a weekly group walk followed by a meeting to discuss cognitive-behavioral strategies targeting self-efficacy. Participants in the low theoretical fidelity condition met for a group walk and also used a pedometer as a motivational tool and to monitor steps. Step counts were assessed throughout the 10-week intervention and after a notreatment follow-up (20 weeks and 30 weeks). Self-efficacy was measured during preintervention and postintervention.
Results: Participants in the high theoretical fidelity condition increased daily steps by 2,283 from preintervention to postintervention, whereas participants in the low fidelity condition demonstrated minimal change during the same time period (p = .002). Those attending at least 80% of the sessions in the high theoretical fidelity condition showed an increase of 3,217 daily steps (d = 1.03), whereas low attenders increased by 925 (d = 0.40). Attendance had minimal impact in the low theoretical fidelity condition. Follow-up data revealed that step counts were at least somewhat maintained. Participants in the high, compared with those in the low, theoretical fidelity condition showed greater improvements in efficacy.
Conclusion: Findings highlight the importance of basing activity promotion efforts on theory. The high theoretical fidelity intervention that included cognitive-behavioral strategies targeting self-efficacy was more effective than the low theoretical fidelity intervention, but its effectiveness was reduced for those with low attendance.
–Rachel L. Hutt, Ginger A. Moore, Micah A. Mammen, and Danielle Symons Downs
Purpose: Marital dissatisfaction and conflict often increase for couples after the birth of a child and are evident in fewer positive family interactions and more negative family interactions. Because exercise is known to increase positive emotions and decrease negative emotions, the current study examined the extent to which higher levels of mothers’ exercise during the postpartum period were related to more positive and fewer negative emotion-expressive behaviors with their infants’ fathers.
Guideposts and Roadblocks to the Career-Long Scholarly Engagement of Physical Education Teacher Education Faculty
Method: Mothers’ (N = 46; M = 8 months postpartum) positive and negative expressive behaviors were coded during couples’ discussions of current conflict and positive family experiences. Mothers self-reported their leisure-time exercise behavior.
Results: First-time mothers and mothers with higher levels of leisure-time exercise behavior displayed higher levels of positive expressive behaviors during couples’ discussions.
Conclusion: Exercise may be associated with increased positive emotion and, in turn, can have great potential to improve family relationships during the postpartum period when marital stress normatively increases, particularly for mothers with more than 1 child. Future longitudinal studies are needed to understand exercise patterns across the postpartum period to identify the most effective timing and optimal level of exercise that lead to more positive expressive behaviors.
–Catherine P. Berei, Erica Pratt, Melissa Parker, Kevin Shephard, TanJian Liang, Udon Nampai, and Guntima Neamphoka
Purpose: Scholarship is essential for the growth and development of the physical education field. Q3 Over time, scholarship expectations have changed (Boyer, 1990), forcing faculty members to alter time spent for research, teaching, and service (Gappa, Austin, & Trice, 2007). Social-cognitive career theory (SCCT) presents a model for understanding performance and persistence in an occupational environment. The interconnected aspects of SCCT have different emphasis related to self-efficacy, outcome expectations, or personal goals pursuit (Lent et al., 1994). This study explored physical education teacher education (PETE) faculty members’ continuing engagement in scholarly activity through SCCT.
Method: Data collection included interviews with 9 senior PETE faculty members who met the criteria for “productive scholars over time.” Curriculum vitae were collected to verify productivity.
Results: Data analysis revealed guidepost themes that included collaborating, finding balance, defining a research process, and maintaining a strong work ethic. Roadblocks encountered included other obligations and lack of support for research.
Conclusion: Participants demonstrated strong self-efficacy; held high, positive expectations for success; and set very specific, clear, and deliberate goals. Participant behavior was moderated by their personal attributes (capacity to build relationships, set goals, and maintain interest and passion) and was tempered by the environments in which they worked. Fostering similar behaviors has the potential to guide future and current PETE faculty members in creating supportive and encouraging atmospheres for sustained productivity. The lack of literature relating to this topic warrants the need for more research exploring the influential factors and benefits gained from sustained scholarly productivity over time for PETE faculty members.
–E. Whitney G. Moore and Mary D. Fry
Purpose: This study examined the relationship between ownership and empowerment in exercise, with 2 context-specific outcomes, satisfaction with physical education (PE) and physical activity, respectively. Given the mission of PE to foster individuals’ lifelong physical activity habit, the perceptions of high school students were collected for this study. Ownership in exercise was hypothesized to be significantly, positively correlated with students reporting satisfaction in PE more than their satisfaction in physical activity, whereas empowerment in exercise was hypothesized to be more strongly, positively correlated with students’ physical activity satisfaction. A second purpose of this study was to test the measurement quality of the updated Empowerment in Exercise Scale (EES; now 13 items).
SKIPing with Head Start Teachers: Influence of T-SKIP on Object Control Skills
Method: High school students (N = 502, 43% female) in a Midwestern U.S. school district completed a survey.
Results: Confirmatory factor analysis supported the internal measurement structure of the EES (λ = .62–.91; McDonald’s omega = .89) across student gender (strong invariance). Additionally, the structural equation modeling analysis revealed only 1 parameter moderated by the students’ gender (latent mean of ownership). The hypotheses were supported, such that ownership in exercise was more strongly correlated with PE satisfaction (r = .87) and empowerment in exercise had a stronger correlation with physical activity satisfaction (r = .92).
Conclusion: These results support the beneficial effect a satisfying experience in PE can have on students’ satisfaction with physical activity outside of school.
–Ali Brian, Jacqueline D. Goodway, Jessica A. Logan, and Sue Sutherand
Purpose: MariChildren from disadvantaged settings are at risk for delays in their object-control (OC) skills. Fundamental motor skill interventions, such as the Successful Kinesthetic Instruction for Preschoolers (SKIP) Program, are highly successful when led by motor development experts. However, few preschools employ such experts. This study examined the extent to which Head Start teachers delivering an 8-week teacher-led SKIP (T-SKIP) intervention elicited learning of OC skills for Head Start children.
Physical Education Studies in the United States using SOFIT: A Review
Method: Head Start teachers (n = 5) delivered T-SKIP for 8 weeks (450 min). Control teachers (n = 5) implemented the typical standard of practice, or well-equipped free play. All children (N = 122) were pretested and posttested on the OC Skill subscale of the Test of Gross Motor Development-2.
Results: Descriptive analyses at pretest identified 81% of the children were developmentally delayed in OC skills (below the 30th percentile). A 2-level hierarchical linear model demonstrated the effectiveness of T-SKIP with significant differences (β = 4.70), t(8) = 7.02, p < .001, η2 = .56, between T-SKIP children (n = 63) and control children (n = 59) at posttest.
Conclusion: Head Start teachers who delivered T-SKIP could bring about positive changes in children’s OC skills, thereby remediating the initial developmental delays presented. Control children remained delayed in their OC skills in spite of daily well-equipped free play, giving rise to concerns about their future motor competence and physical activity levels.
–Thomas L. McKenzie
Purpose: An objective database for physical education (PE) is important for policy and practice decisions, and the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) has been identified as an appropriate surveillance tool for PE across the nation. The purpose of this review was to assess peer-reviewed studies using SOFIT to study K–12 PE in U.S. schools.
Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Excellence: Insights from Accomplished University Team- Sport Coaches
Method: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses informed the review, and 10 databases were searched for English-language articles published through 2016. A total of 704 records identifying SOFIT were located, and 137 full texts were read. Two authors reviewed full-text articles, and a data extraction tool was developed to select studies and main topics for synthesis.
Results: Twenty-nine studies that included direct observations of 12,440 PE lessons met inclusion criteria; 17 were conducted in elementary schools, 9 in secondary schools, and 3 in combined-level schools. Inconsistent reporting among studies was evident, including not all identifying the number of classes and teachers involved. All studies reported student physical activity, but fewer reported observer reliabilities (88%), lesson context (76%), teacher behavior (38%), and PE dosage (34%). The most frequently analyzed independent variables were teacher preparation (48%), lesson location (38%), and student gender (31%).
Conclusion: SOFIT can be used reliably in diverse settings. Inconsistent reporting about study procedures and variables analyzed, however, limited comparisons among studies. Adherence to an established protocol and more consistent reporting would more fully enable the development of a viable database for PE in U.S. schools.
–Daniela Donoso Morales, Gordon A. Bloom, & Jeffrey G. Caron
Purpose: Winning several national championships is an extraordinary feat that very few university coaches have accomplished. The objective of this study was to investigate how some of Canada’s most accomplished university team-sport coaches created and sustained a culture of excellence in their programs.
Effect of Teaching Races for Understanding in Youth Sailing on Performance, Knowledge, and Adherence
Method: Six university coaches who had won more than 30 national titles participated in this study. Each coach participated in a semistructured interview, and the qualitative data were inductively analyzed using a thematic analysis.
Results: The coaches noted that hard work and daily attention to detail, effective emotional management of themselves and their athletes, and continuous self-assessment (self-reflection and seeking mentors) were crucial elements that led to sustained excellence in their programs.
Conclusion: This study offers one of the first empirical accounts of how highly successful university coaches developed and maintained a culture of excellence and success in their high-performance sport setting.
–María Trinidad Morales-Belando and José L. Arias-Estero
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to know whether an intervention using an adaptation of the teaching games for understanding approach (named teaching races for understanding [TRfU]) led participants to improve skill execution, decision making, race performance, race involvement, race knowledge, enjoyment, intention to continue practicing sailing, and perceived competence.
Method: Participants were 67 children from a randomly selected sailing school (Mage = 9.32 years, SD = 2.60 years) and 2 coaches. We designed and validated the TRfU lessons, and 1 coach was trained in the approach. The TRfU group participated in 11 lessons. This study followed a mixedmethods data approach. Quantitative data were evaluated using a quasiexperimental pretest– posttest design with a control group. The intervention consisted of teaching sailing using the TRfU 15 approach. Children and coaches’ perceptions were evaluated through an interview on completion of the study. Data were collected using an adaptation of the Game Performance Assessment Instrument, a knowledge questionnaire, 2 psychological scales, and interviews with children and coaches.
Results: The TRfU group showed statistically significant improvements in skill execution, decision making, and race performance compared with the control group, as well as significant improvements in race involvement, race knowledge, and enjoyment (ES = 0.64–2.63).
Conclusion: Teaching races for understanding can be used in sailing to improve students’ capacity to reflect and connect theoretical knowledge with their motor performance in the race.
Extracurricular Physical Activity Programs in California Private Secondary Schools
–David Kahan and Thomas L. McKenzie
Purpose: Interscholastic, intramural, and club physical activity (PA) programs can be important contributors to student PA accrual at schools. Few studies have assessed factors related to the provision of these extracurricular PA programs, especially in private schools.
Method: We used a 16-item questionnaire to assess the associations and influences of selected factors relative to extracurricular PA program policies and practices in 450 private California secondary schools. Associations were evaluated using contingency table analyses (i.e., chi-squared, effect size, and post-hoc analyses).
Results: Six factors were associated with schools providing extracurricular PA programs: school location, level, enrollment, and religious classification and whether the physical education (PE) program met state PE time standards and was taught by PE specialists.
Conclusion: Both static factors (e.g., school location, level, enrollment, and religious affiliation) and modifiable factors (e.g., meeting PE standards and employing specialists) affect the provision of extracurricular PA programs. As education is state-mandated, additional study is recommended to assess the generalizability of these findings to other states and to public schools.