An exploratory study of the relationship between adolescent obesity and attitudes towards PE
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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It has been claimed that obese individuals are less active than their non-obese peers. If obesity is a disease of inactivity, it may be anticipated that the obese have a negative attitude towards physical activity and Physical Education (PE). The primary pulpose of this study was to establish whether an adolescent's Body Mass Index (BMI; kg/ñ) is related to a negative attitude towards PE, incorporating the variable of perception of body size. To conduct this researchs 102 subjects (males, n : 60; females, n: 42) aged 15-16 years (m : 15.4 + 0.4) from a school in South Wales completed a questionnaire. The questionnaire, designed by the primary researcher, identified the subjects' attitude towards PE and their perception of their body size. In addition, the subjects' height and weight were measured to calculate their BMI. The mean BMI for males was20.7 + 3.4kg/rrf , and for females 21.62 + 3.65 kg/rn?. The Pearson Product-Moment Correlation was used to distinguish the relationship between the BMI, attitude towards PE, and perception of body size of the whole sample and according to weight status and gender. Overall, there was no evidence of a significant relationship between the BMI and attitude score, or between the perception of body size and attitude (p>0.05). However, a positive significant relationship existed (p<0.01) between the BMI and perception of body size, showing that subjects' accurately estimated their body size. Irrespective of the findings, the study discerned that the obese/overweight did possess a lower mean attitude score in juxtaposition to the other groups, and that the gender differences in attitude towards PE are not as antithetical as the literature suggests. Further research is required to assess attitudes towards PE in relation to weight status within the general population, and an expansion of the study is requisite in order to ascertain whether the gender differences in attitude can be generalised.
BSc (Hons) Sport, PE and Recreation
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