Examining Motivational Factors Influencing HBCU Undergraduates' Participation in Physical Activity

Friday, April 1, 2011: 9:15 AM
Room 26B (Convention Center)
Jared A. Russell, Auburn University, Auburn, AL and Claude Hutto, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA

Background/Purpose This case-study examined the motivational factors influencing participation of African American students (n = 163) in an instructional physical activity program (IPAP) administered at a southeastern Historically Black College (HBC). Many college students show early signs of hypokinetic diseases (obesity, coronary heart disease, etc.). Such diseases are more prevalent among African Americans than other racial/ethnic groups but can potentially be significantly reduced by regular physical activity. IPAPs are vital to on-going efforts to curtail the prevalence of students engaging in sedentary lifestyles and demonstrating poor lifestyle habits.

Method The primary data collection instrument was a web-based questionnaire, highlighted by the Motives for Physical Activities Measure Revised (MPAM-R) (Ryan et al., 1997), developed to examine students' motivational factors for participating in IPAP courses. Quantitative data were analyzed and descriptive statistics, including means and frequency counts were generated with the use of the Predictive Analytics SoftWare (PASW) package 18.0. Qualitative data obtained from open-ended questionnaire items were analyzed using traditional techniques such as coding categories, analytic induction techniques and theme development.

Analysis/Results Primary results include: a) students were motivated by Achieving Competence (m = 34.6) and Interest/Enjoyment (m = 33.8) to enroll in IPAP courses and b) approximately 50% of participants had not participated in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (outside of class) the week prior to the study.

Conclusions In conclusion, findings suggest that the institution should more actively encourage students to enroll in IPAP courses and consider curricular and pedagogical changes to meet the diverse instructional needs of the student body.