Perceived Physical Ability and Self-Perception of Adequacy and Enjoyment for Physical Activity in Elementary Students

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How children perceive their physical ability is important in understanding their reported adequacy, preferences, and predilection of physical activity. This relationship is useful in identifying lifelong physical activity behaviors. Purpose: The relationship between perceived physical ability and classroom engagement was investigated in elementary school children. Methods: Students (n = 120) in grades K5 completed the Perceived Physical Ability Scale (PPAS) and the Children’s Self-Perceptions of Adequacy and Predilection for Physical Activity (CSAPPA). Results: A statistically strong significant positive correlation (r = .49, P < .01) was found between the PPAS and CSAPPA indicating that students with higher perceived physical ability also reported higher scores on the CSAPPA. The high CSAPPA scores are indicative of students having a higher likelihood of choosing physical activity over a non-active option. No significant differences were noted between males and females or across grade levels. Conclusions: Based on these results students who have a greater perception of their physical ability also report being more likely to select a physically active option when given the choice. The findings of this study are noteworthy as previous studies have shown that differences between male and female students may exist with similar measures. These results may be indicative of the environment that has been created at the study site. The study site promotes a culture centered on respect, care, and a growth mindset within its student body. Future research comparing student to teacher ratio, cohesive student groups, and school schedules should be conducted to compare students’ PPAS and CSAPPA results. Programs designed to enhance perceived physical ability and enjoyment of physical activity are needed to promote lifetime physical activity habits.


Greenville, SC

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