Despite the fact that physical education holds great promise for the promotion of public health, urban African American girls’ interest and participation in physical education tends to decline with age. Using the Theory of Planned Behavior and feminist poststructuralist theory, this study was designed to examine African American girls’ physical education participation and possible social, cognitive, and motivational factors that drive them away from future intentions toward physical education. Participants were 168 African American girls (age range = 14–17 years, mean age = 14.7 years) enrolled in three public high schools from a large urban inner-city school district in the Midwestern United States. Both quantitative and word-data were collected. Results revealed that participation in physical education played an important role in urban African-American girls’ overall physical activity engagement. However, unfavorable attitudes and lack of perceived support impeded their intentions toward future enrollment in physical education. Major factors related to their intentions were: anticipated short- and long-term outcomes, body image concerns, the influence of their mothers, and scheduling conflicts. The findings indicate opportunities for early intervention.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 4, 2012
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