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Interviews conducted with teachers and students suggest that girls may accumulate more physical activity receiving physical education class separate from boys. Few studies have actually measured student's physical activity levels in coeducational and single gender settings. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of coeducational and single gender game play settings on the activity levels of African-American and Caucasian, male and female high school physical education students. Participants were 209 students enrolled in six physical education classes at an ethnically diverse, low to middle socioeconomic, Northwestern Florida high school. Three experienced physical education teachers, one female and two males, conducted all classes. Students participated in the schools regular team sport curriculum of flag football, ultimate Frisbee, and soccer. Two coeducational classes remained coeducational during game play, two coeducational classes were split into male and female teams for game play, one class was exclusively females-only, and one class was exclusively males-only throughout the study. Digi-walker pedometers were worn by students and used to monitor activity levels during 30 minutes of game play in each physical education class over six lessons in each team sport unit. Results indicated that boys were more active than girls in each activity regardless of setting. Caucasian males were more active than African-American males, and Caucasian females were more active than African-American females. Contrary to expectations, there were no differences in activity levels for girls (overall and by race) in this study between coeducational and single gender flag football, ultimate Frisbee, and soccer game play settings. Contrary to expectations, male students were less physically active in males-only than coeducational and coed-split ultimate Frisbee and soccer game play. Lower activity levels of African-American males made a significant contribution to these differences. Teacher interaction rate may have contributed to the differences or lack of differences between groups, particularly in the males-only setting. Survey results indicate that team sport preferences by gender and race may have contributed to differences in overall activity levels. Implications of coeducational and single gender physical education are complex and need further study.
Physical Activity, Coeducational, Single Gender, Physical Education
Date of Defense
February 24, 2004.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Sport Management, Recreation Management, and Physical Education in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Thomas Ratliffe, Professor Directing Dissertation; Doris Abood, Outside Committee Member; Anahita Mistry, Committee Member; Charles Imwold, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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