TITLE

Reaction of University Students to Body Composition Assessment in Physical Education Activity Classes

AUTHOR(S)
Steinhardt, Mary A.; Macklem, Debra J.
PUB. DATE
April 1991
SOURCE
Journal of Teaching in Physical Education;Apr1991, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p249
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The use of skinfold measurements is a popular method to determine percentage of body fat because of its relative simplicity. Although attention has been paid to its technical accuracy and validity, less consideration has been given to the psychological impact on participants. The purpose of this study was to determine students' (N= 128) reactions to having skinfold measurements taken in university physical education classes. Skinfold measurements were taken, and a questionnaire administered during the 2nd and 13th weeks of the semester. The questionnaire was used to assess (a) if students were self-conscious or uncomfortable during the measurements, (b) if knowing percent body fat motivated students to exercise, and (c) if the procedure should remain a standard part of class. Descriptive results indicated most students agreed that percent fat measurement was a valuable part of the class. On the pretest, after controlling for sex, regression analysis revealed that percent fat significantly predicted feelings of self-consciousness (R2=.08; �=.36) and motivation to exercise (R2=.07;�.24). On the posttest, percent fat again predicted feelings of self-consciousness (R2=.21; �=.58) but did not predict motivation to exercise. Also, students with greater percent fat felt the body composition assessment should be optional (R2=.08; �=-.36). Although results of this study support body composition assessment in university health-related activity classes, the need for sensitivity to the emotional needs and privacy of individuals is recommended.
ACCESSION #
20751849

 

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