Title page for ETD etd-61497-18756

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Bell, Kenneth W.
Author's Email Address kbell@swva.net
URN etd-61497-18756
Title The Relationship Between Perceived Physical Competence and the Physical Activity Patterns of Fifth and Seventh Grade Children
Degree PhD
Department Teaching and Learning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Niles, Jerome A.
Singh, Kusum
Stratton, Richard K.
Stremmel, Andrew J.
Graham, George M. Committee Chair
  • Perceived Competence
  • Physical Activity
  • Self-Efficacy
  • Children
Date of Defense 1997-06-30
Availability unrestricted
This study examined the relationship between the perceptions of

physical competence and patterns of physical activity of 83 5th and 7th grade

children in one school in rural southwest Virginia. Gender and grade level

differences in perceptions of competence and physical activity patterns were

also investigated.

The Perceived Physical Competence Subscale for Children (PPCSC)

(Harter, 1982) was modified to measure children's perceptions of physical

competence (26 self-efficacy questions). Children's patterns of physical activity

were measured by a modification to Sallis & McKenzie's Self Administered

Physical Activity Checklist (SAPAC). Each item on the PPCSC was matched

with an activity on the SAPAC scale. Modifications to both scales were made as

a result of pilot testing performed with the sample population.A significant positive linear relationship was found between children's

perceptions of competence and their amount of physical activity. Significant

positive correlations were also found for a number of self-efficacy measures and

the amount of time children chose to engage in these specific activities.

Significant gender differences were found between boys and girls in

overall perceptions of competence, as well as in a number of self-efficacy

measures. Boys were typically higher is self-efficacy on most physical activities

with the exception of gymnastics, dance, and jump rope. The 7th grade boys

had the highest perceptions of competence, while 7th grade girls were the

lowest of all four groups.

These perceptions of competence were reflected in whether children

chose to participate in an activity or not. Children generally chose to engage in

activities that they perceived themselves competent . There also appear to be

very powerful socio-cultural influences on the types of activities that boys and

girls choose (Lirgg, 1992). Girls were significantly more active in health

enhancing lifetime physical activities such as walking, jogging, and bicycling,

and chose activities of a lower intensity level than boys.

Contrary to the literature, this study found no significant differences in the

total amount of physical activity between boys and girls. It was hypothesized

that the rural setting in which this study was conducted may have influenced this

outcome. No significant differences were found between grades in perceptions

of competence or physical activity time.

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