An investigation into existing participation barriers for adolescent females in Physical Education and Physical Activity and how intervention strategies used by a Physical Education department can provide possible solutions to address these
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The promotion of Physical Activity has attracted growing interest in recent years, due to the evidence that healthy lifestyle behaviours among children and adolescents can translate into reduced health risks in their adulthood (Corbin, 1987; Dobbins et al., 2009). The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WFSS) identified that more than 80% of women and girls did not take part in regular Physical Activity; as a result the occurrence of type II diabetes and obesity has significantly increased. The purpose of this study is to investigate existing participation barriers to adolescent females in Physical Education and Physical Activity and how intervention strategies used by a Physical Education department can provide possible solutions to address them. A sample group of 3 Physical Education teachers and 3 Post Graduate Certificate in Education students were selected from the Cardiff area to participate in this study. They were chosen due to the impact variation of experience and range of knowledge would have during the recorded interview process of this study. Interviews were carried out aiming to gain an insight into the schools policies, the predominant female barriers and possible solutions, whilst also considering barriers to teachers and how they might impact the females. It can be concluded through the research findings and review of literature that there are various factors that influence and hinder female participation in Physical Activity; the main barriers identified were body image, peer pressure, PE kit, role models, choice and opportunity. It is evident that consideration and attention needs to be given to intervention strategies of Physical Education departments, as it is vital to reinforce and educate females on the positives of Physical Education and to promote healthy lifelong habits.
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