Title page for ETD etd-07012010-094214

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author McGregor, Andrew James
Author's Email Address amcgre1@tigers.lsu.edu
URN etd-07012010-094214
Title Adolescents' Expectancy Beliefs and Task Values for Physically Interactive Video Games
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Kinesiology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Solmon, Melinda A. Committee Chair
Baker, Birgitta Committee Member
Garn, Alex Committee Member
  • exergaming
Date of Defense 2010-06-24
Availability unrestricted
The health benefits associated with appropriate levels of physical activity are well documented, but a large percentage of the population is not sufficiently active to attain those health benefits. Children are also not as active as they should be, and their activity levels decline during adolescence. Given that childhood activity patterns are likely to persist into adulthood, it is important to investigate ways to encourage children and adolescents to be physically active. Since virtually all school students participate in physical education programs, one way to do that is to explore ways that physical education programs can motivate children to be physically active. This study examined adolescentsí motivation in middle school physical education and in physically interactive video games within an expectancy-value model developed by Eccles and her colleagues (1983). One hundred and one eighth grade physical education students completed questionnaires assessing their expectancy-related beliefs, subjective task values, and intention for future participation in both the domains of physical education and physically interactive video games. Participantsí activity level was also assessed using the Godin and Shephard (1985) Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire. Results indicated that expectancy-related beliefs and subjective task values are domain specific. Expectancy-related beliefs and task values are positively related and both constructs are related to intention to participate in the future for both the domains of physical education and physically interactive video games. Expectancy-related beliefs, task values, and intentions across domains, however, were not related supporting the hypothesis that physically interactive video games represent a distinct domain from traditional physical education activities. Physical education was perceived as more important and more useful than physically interactive video games, but findings suggest that girls and less active students found physically interactive video games to be more interesting than traditional physical education activities. Taken together, the findings suggest that physically interactive video games could be a useful tool in physical education programs to increase physical activity levels for students who are at risk for low levels of physical activity.
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