Unformatted text preview: High School Students’ Attitudes toward
from Four Boroughs of
New York City
Howard Z. Zeng1,
Raymond W. Leung1, Michael Hipscher1, &
Craig Stanco2, George Zanotto3
Brooklyn College, the City University of New York, NY;
Franklin D. Roosevelt High School, Brooklyn, NY; and
Brooklyn Technical High School, Brooklyn, NY. 1 1 I ntroduction-1
Since 1990, there has been an increase in the
body of knowledge in PE in terms of student
attitudes. The increase in interest may also be
attributed to the influence of attitudes toward
further participation in physical activities after
school (Carlson, 1995; Ennis, 1996; papaioannou, 1994;
Portm 1995; Tannehill, & Zakrajsek, 1993) a
out of school that related to students’
achievement in athletics activities (Graham, 1995;
L ee, 1997; Silverman, 1993; Subramaniam & Silverman,
Stucky-Ropp and DiLorenzo (1993) reported that
enjoyment in physical activity classes appears to
be associated with both girls and boys. Students
who have hated gym classes may select to avoid
participation in physical activities (PA) in their
daily life (Carlson, 1995; Portman, 1995).
Silverman and Subramaniam (1999) also reported
that students tend to participate in PA they most
get pleasure from.
get 3 Introduction-3
I dentifying and understanding factors that associate with
children’s PA participation is critical to promoting
current and lifelong physical activity participation of
children (Sallis, Prochaska, & Taylor, 2000).
A mong many factors, children’s attitudes are considered
to be a key element influencing PA participation
(Biddle & Mutrie, 2001; Hagger, Chatzisarantis, &
Biddle, 2002; Solmon, 2003; Subramaniam &
Silverman, 2002). 4 Introduction-4
Children who have more positive attitudes toward
PA are reported to be more likely to participate
in physical activity outside of school (Biddle & Chatzisarantis, 1999; Chung & Phillips, 2002; Hagger et
al., 2002; McKenzie, 2003; Portman, 2003) and
demonstrate higher PA amounts (Hagger, Cale, &
Almond, 1995) than those with less positive
A lmond, attitudes. 5 Introduction-5
A ccording to the literature on the topic of
students’ attitudes toward PE, most of the
previous research targeted elementary school
children. Children at the elementary level,
however, tend to report inflated physical
activity ability, interest, and attitude due to
their limited developmental ability to selftheir
I n contrast, secondary school
children’s self-reports were
more realistic (Lee, 2004).
Thus, it would be meaningful
to examine secondary school
children’s attitudes toward
physical activity. physical 7 The significance of this study
New Y ork City is the most populous and diverse city
in the US. The City is at the center of international
finance, politics, entertainment, and culture. The city
comprises five boroughs: Brooklyn, Bronx,
Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. New Y ork
Manhattan Queens and Staten
City also includes the largest population of
immigrants from over 180 countries who help make it
one of the most cosmopolitan places on earth.
cosmopolitan 8 Cont.
More significantly, New Y ork City contains
the largest public school system in the
country, with over 1 million students being
taught in 1,200 separate schools. No studies,
however, have been conducted that examine
students’ attitudes toward PE and activities
preference in a city like New Y ork, where
both the educational system and the
students’ population possess the most
diverse characteristics on earth.
Thus, the purpose of this study was to
investigate the current status of attitudes
toward PE and activities of the high school
students in the public schools from four
boroughs of New Y ork City;
and to provide meaningful information to
help PE professionals improve their
curriculum and programs.
curriculum 10 Methods
The current study was conducted during the
2007-2008 fall and spring semesters. Ten public
high schools were selected from four boroughs
(Mahhaton was not included) of New Y ork City
in the US.
A total of 728 9th -12th grade students (249 boys
and 479 girls) voluntarily participated in this
study. Their ages were 15-19 yrs (M =16.78 yrs,
SD =1.02 yrs). 11 Cont.
The physical education (PE) curricular requirements and
standards as outlined by the state and school districts
were: (a) basic motor and manipulative skills, cardio
respiratory endurance, flexibility, muscular strength,
endurance, and body composition; (b) to participate in
physical activities that develop physical fitness skills;
demonstrate fundamental motor, non-locomotor, and
manipulative skills; understand the effects of activity on
the body and the risks associated with inactivity;
understand the relationship between physical activity and
individual well being; (c) students will have the necessary
knowledge and skills to establish and maintain physical
fitness, participate in physical activity, and maintain
personal health (New Y ork State Education Department, 2007). 12 Cont.
The students had one PE class per day, five
days per week. A ttention was focused on
the high school level because biological
developments in adolescence and social
environmental factors led to changes in
their perception and behavior. Moreover,
PE was one of the courses in the high
school curricula being ignored due to the
emphasis on academic performance (e.g.
the state exam).
the 13 Cont. Questionnaires
Two questionnaires were employed and administered. The
first questionnaire was the Physical Education Activity
Attitude Scale (PEAAS) adopted by Zeng (2009) and originally
developed by Adams (1963) and V aldez (1997). I t is a paper
and pencil self-report questionnaire with a 5-point Likert-type
scale with responses ranging from 1 (Strongly Agree) to 5
(Strongly Disagree) summed across 20 items, resulting in a
range of scores from 20 to 100. A score of 20 indicates the
most negative attitude; 21-40 indicates a negative attitude; 41most
60 indicates a neutral attitude; 61-80 indicates a positive
attitude; and 81-100 indicates the most positive attitude (See
A ppendix 14 Cont.
The second questionnaire was the
Preference Questionnaire (See
Appendix B) with a Cronbach
A lpha reliability coefficient of .92,
an intraclass correlation coefficient
of .90, and a scale validity
coefficient of .93.
coefficient 15 Results
Results showed mean PEAAS scores of
68.600 (M =3.430 + .919), indicating
participants’ overall positive ATPE.
The five items with the highest scores were
items 2, 16, 18, 14 and 11
with M =4.144 +.923; M =4.136 +.834; M =
4.118 +.920; M =4.027 +.929 and M =4.001
+.791, respectively. 16 Results -2
These questions related to how the participants
feel about PE classes and exercises on ‘benefits’,
‘degree of seriousness’ ‘perception’ and ‘value.’
These factors compose the most essential driving
power that structures ATPE.
power 17 Results-3
A s for sports/activities preference, 59.20 % of students
reported preferring team sports,
25.55 % of students reported preferring individual
15.25% of students reported preferring dual game
Aerobic exercises were ranked as favorite, with dance
coming in second (41.21 % and 22.25 % respectively).
Weight Lifting came in third with 17.86 %, followed by
Outdoor Adventures and Martial Arts.
Martial 18 Conclusion
1. I n summary, the current ATPE status of the
participants from the four boroughs is
2. The crucial factors that structure ATPE are
‘benefits’, ‘degree of seriousness’,
‘perception’, and ‘value’ regarding their PE
classes and daily physical exercises. 19 Cont.
3. The participants’ sports/activities
preferences are: team sports, individual
sports, dual game sports, aerobic exercises,
dance, weight lifting, outdoor adventures,
and martial arts.
and 20 Selected References
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