Why do activity levels of girls decrease as they age? An insight into participation rates, and attitudes towards physical activity
Skudra, Laura Amy
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The issue of inactivity amongst adolescent girls has become increasingly prevalent in today’s society, with many girls failing to participate in a sufficient amount of activity likely to bring about any health benefits. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the problem of inactivity amongst girls aged 11-16 years, with specific reference to decline of participation and its relationship with age. The study aimed to determine how, if at all the type and frequency of girls participation and attitudes towards physical education and physical activity change between years 7 and 11. One hundred girls from year 7 and 100 girls from year 11 were selected at random from Morriston Comprehensive School in Swansea, South Wales to participate in the study. Data was gathered via a self-designed questionnaire. Results identified that significantly more year 7 girls take part in physical activity outside of compulsory school lessons than year 11 girls. The types of sports participated in by both year groups differed in both curriculum PE and outside of school, with year 7 girls PE following a more traditional root. The implementation of government and locally based initiatives has had a positive effect on girl’s participation at Morriston. Also identified were factors such as the structure of the National Curriculum, implementation of Physical Education, facilities available, teacher attitude and family relationship as being instrumental in the development of the participation trends identified. The research indicates that whilst participation rates at Morriston Comprehensive School are above the Welsh average, areas for further improvement have been identified.
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