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Title:Perceptions and Experiences of Overweight Students Enrolled in a High School Physical Education Class
Author(s):Trout, Josh Michael
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Graber, Kim C.
Department / Program:Kinesiology and Community Health
Discipline:Kinesiology and Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Secondary
Abstract:Grounded in the theoretical framework of learned helplessness, the purpose of this study was to examine overweight students' perceptions and experiences in physical education. Participants were selected using Patton's (2002) method of intensity sampling. They were 7 female and 5 male overweight high school students aged 13--18 and their parents. Participants whose body mass index was at or higher than the gender- and age-specific 85th percentile based on Centers for Disease Control growth charts were eligible for participation. Participants were interviewed for one to two hours using the standardized open-ended interview and the informal conversational interview approaches on two separate occasions. Questions focused on participants' past and present experiences in physical education, their perceptions of how they were treated by peers and teachers, and their involvement in extracurricular activities. Participants' parents were formally interviewed for 30--60 minutes on two occasions about their past physical education experiences, their child's physical activity patterns, and their perceptions of the importance of physical education. Interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed for analysis. A thematic log and a reflexive journal were maintained during data collection. Transcripts were coded by analyzing relevant phenomena to search for commonalities, differences, patterns, and structures. Peer debriefing, member checks, triangulation and a negative case analysis were conducted to establish credibility and dependability. Data analysis revealed six themes. The four primary themes to emerge from student interviews related to (a) participants' beliefs that many aspects of physical education have little benefit for overweight students, (b) the link between inappropriate teaching practices and negative physical education experiences, (c) the lack of personalized exercise programs that are offered to obese students in physical education, and (d) participants' desire to remain invisible from their peers while engaging in physical activity. The two parental themes demonstrated that (a) there was strong parental support for the subject matter of physical education, and (b) parents had encountered negative experiences in their own physical education classes. The theoretical framework of learned helplessness was supported in this investigation, particularly when students were engaged in activities that they perceived to be embarrassing or to have little value.
Issue Date:2004
Description:136 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3131038
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2004

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