Factors Affecting Physical Educators' Assigning Physical Education Homework

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Poster Areas 1 and 2 (Foyer Outside Exhibit Hall C) (Convention Center)
Stephen C. Thom and Joonkoo Yun, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Background/Purpose Lack of physical activity (PA) among children is a serious public health concern. In many schools physical education class has been reduced, making it even more difficult to meet daily PA recommendations. To overcome this serious problem, assigning PA homework has been a recommended strategy. However, there is little information about physical educators' assigning homework. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify factors influencing assigning PA homework.

Method One hundred forty physical educators completed a survey. The survey included teachers' behavior assigning PA homework, and potential factors affecting assigning homework including personal exercise behavior, knowledge, attitude, subjective norms, and perceived control toward assigning PA homework.

Analysis/Results A multiple regression was employed. The dependent variable was PA promotion behavior and independent variables were the factors identified by the Theory of Planned Behavior and current literature related to promoting PA among health professions. All of the predictors accounted for 29% of physical educators' behavior, R=.54. Results indicated that the most important factors associated with behavior were (a) knowledge of how to assign PA homework (beta=.50, t =3.25, p <.001); (b) attitude toward PA homework (beta=.34, t=2.56, p <.01); and (c) expectations from significant others (beta=.39, t =2.81, p <.01) including school administrators, parents, and other teachers.

Conclusions Findings indicate that it is important to include how to assign age-appropriate PA homework in physical education teacher education curriculum. Also the study suggests expectations from principles and parents are pivotal factors related to physical educators' behavior.