Predictors of attitudes toward physical activity as a function of secondary school physical education experiences among adults /

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Orourke, Monica
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Middle Tennessee State University
The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which adult attitudes toward physical activity (AATPA) is a function of secondary school physical education experiences (SSPEE). A 55-item online survey was used to ascertain adults' current attitude toward exercise based on their experiences as secondary school students. The Situational Motivation Scale (Guay, Vallerand, & Blanchard, 2000) and Academic Emotions Questionnaire (Pekrun, Goetz, Titz, & Perry, 2002) were administered to 700 adults, ages 18 to 77 (M = 41.5, SD = 11.7). A hierarchical multiple linear regression (MLR), tested five models, including perceived competence (PC) and intrinsic motivation (IM). Results indicated attitudes toward experiences in secondary school physical education (PE) predicted exercise behavior. MLR analysis indicated a significant relationship between SSPEE and AATPA (p = .000). In particular, negative experiences in secondary school PE were related to negative attitudes toward physical activity. Further, PC (p = .002) and IM (p = .000) during SSPEE predicted AATPA, however, SSPEE was not significant to AATPA when PC was entered into the model. One implication of this study is that secondary school PE programs are not successful in promoting positive attitudes toward physical activity, partly explaining decisions by adults to lead a sedentary lifestyle. Physical education teacher education (PETE) programs need to teach PE majors strategies for promoting lifelong physical activity, and enhance student intrinsic motivation and perceived competence in secondary school PE programs.
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