Year

2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Faculty of Education

Abstract

The promotion of physical activity (PA) and the prevention of low levels of adolescent health-related fitness (HRF) and self-esteem (SE) associated with physical inactivity, are issues central to current and future global health priorities. Previous research has shown that obese adolescents tend to track into being obese adults (Booth, Chey, Wake, Norton, Hesketh & Dollman, 2003). Recent reports have indicated that the prevalence of obesity in childhood and adolescence has been increasing at an alarming rate (Angelopoulos, Milionis, Grammatiki, Monschonis & Manios, 2009). Therefore such issues warrant further investigation and continued research efforts. The types of physical activities being offered to adolescents need to be evaluated, if future problems associated with obesity are to be prevented (Doak, Visscher, Renders, & Seidell, 2006).

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of two different 18-week PA programmes upon Year 9 adolescent males’ HRF and SE. The participants (N = 136) aged 13-14 years, were recruited from one independent Sydney boys’ school. All the boys were enrolled in Year 9; the Year 9 cohorts were randomly allocated to one or other of the two PA programmes. The two PA programmes were conducted simultaneously at two different locations in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. One of the PA programmes was completed at the schools Extended Stay Outdoor Education School Programme (ESOESP) residential campus in Kangaroo Valley, on the South Coast of NSW. The second PA programme, a Year 9 physical education (PE) programme, was completed at the school’s main campus in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.

An ESOESP HRF feasibility study was completed in terms one and two, in 2002. This feasibility study involved Year 9 boys from the same boys’ school (N = 69), who completed pre and post-test HRF tests (Schell, & Leelarthaepin, 1994). The HRF test battery included tests for blood pressure, body composition, muscular endurance, muscular strength and flexibility. Prior to starting the OE physical activities programme, the participants’ parents/guardians completed a modified Preliminary Health Screening and Pre-Participation Fitness Examination Questionnaire (Kibler, 1990) about their sons.

In order to determine whether the PA programme had an effect on the HRF components, statistical analyses were conducted using the SPSS version 14 utilising a dependent t-test and Cohen’s effect size. The results indicated that there were significant differences in each of the five HRF variables between the pre and posttests (at the p

The OE and PE RCT study was a two-site, random-control trial research design, delivered over an 18-week PA intervention period in terms one and two of 2003. The school’s ESOESP was utilized for the experimental group (N = 73); the school’s PE physical activities were utilized for the control group (N = 63). Outcome assessments for HRF and SE were made using the modified HRF test battery and the Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents (SPPA) (Harter, 1988).

The modified Preliminary Health Screening and Pre-Participation Fitness Examination Questionnaire (Kibler, 1990) were also completed by the OE and PE RCT study parents/guardians prior to pre-testing. Pre-test baseline measurements for HRF and SE were completed in week one of the PA programmes, and post-test measurements were completed in week 18. In order to determine if the components of HRF (Body composition, muscular endurance, muscular strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, and flexibility) the sub-domains of the SPPA (athletic competence, behavioral conduct, close friendship, global self-worth, physical appearance, scholastic competence, and social acceptance) were significant, individual independent t-tests were conducted for each of the stated variables.

In order to determine if the components of the HRF and the sub-domains of the SPPA were significant, individual t-tests were conducted, and Cohen’s d effect size. The results indicated that there were significant differences in the HRF pre-test post-test results on completion of the 18-week OE physical activities programme (at the p

The PE physical activities programme outcomes were not so promising. The HRF results between pre and post-tests produced mixed results, with only the muscular endurance sit-ups and the multistage fitness test results producing significant changes (at the p

Additionally, the OE and PE RCT study investigated whether there was a significant difference between the pre and post-test HRF and SE results of the 18-week OE and PE physical activities programmes. The HRF results indicated that there were significant differences between the OE and PE programmes’ outcomes. The HRF body composition variables of weight, BMI effect sizes were medium, the waist circumference effect size was small, the muscular endurance variable of sit-ups effect size was medium, but the press-ups effect size was large, the muscular strength variable for both right and left hand were medium, the cardiorespiratory fitness variable for lung capacity was small, the multistage fitness results effect size was medium. The SE SPPA sub-domain results for athletic competence, behavioral conduct, close friendship, global self-worth, physical appearance, scholastic competence, social acceptance effect sizes were all small. The t-test score indicated that there were no significant differences between the two different PA programmes, and the Cohen’s d effect sizes were small.

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