Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Kinesiology and Recreation

First Advisor

Skip Williams


According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese (DeAngelo, Kalumuck, & Adlin, 2015). Obesity affects people socially, culturally, genetically, metabolically, behaviorally, and even psychologically (DeAngelo et al., 2015). In 1972, Title XI was enacted (Title IX athletics, 2010). This law requires that all classes must be coeducational and equal opportunities must be provided for everybody, regardless of gender (Hannon & Williams, 2008). Physical Education (PE) classes then became coed. In many cases, coed classes have had a negative effect on a portion of the participation levels in PE (Murphy, Dionigi, & Litchfield, 2014). The purpose of this study was to examine single-sex classes versus coeducational classes in 7th grade PE and the effect it had on physical activity (PA) levels and self-competence. A secondary purpose was to examine differences in PA levels between males and females in PE.

One Junior High School in the Mid-West United States, the school where the study took place, has 598 students. The sample size was four classes of 7th grade students (n=40 females and n=45 males) for a total of 85 students. Students’ ages ranged from 12-13. The study took place during eight lessons of a basketball unit. Skill and game play lessons were taught to the classes and PA level was monitored through Heart Zones Blink armbands. Average heart rate levels were documented by the Heart Zones software. A survey was given to all of the students in the class that had been given parental consent to participate in the study. The survey given was a modified version of the Confidence in Learning Mathematics scale, Math as a Male Domain scale, and Usefulness of Mathematics scale (Fennema and Sherman, 1976) where basketball was substituted for mathematics. The survey was given a total of two times. The students took it one day before the unit started, and one day after it was over. Additionally, a teacher rating was completed for each individual in the class. The teacher ranked the students on a scale of one through three based on self competency. A rating of one indicates that the student is highly competent, a two indicates that the student is moderately competent, and a rating of a three indicates that the student has a low competency level in basketball. This rating occurred at the end of the unit. This was conducted to show whether there was a difference in PA levels in each environment for the highly skilled athletes compared to the students with low skill level or not. Results revealed that there was a statistically significant main effect of gender on heart rate during gameplay (p=0.024). On average, girls had 9.3 fewer bpm (mean difference= 9.3 bpm; 95% CI=-17.3 bpm, -1.3) compared to boys during gameplay. Out of the 85 participants, 30 of them preferred the single-sex setting and 55 of them preferred the coeducational setting. There was also a statistically significant setting x gender interaction where girls in the same-sex setting had, on average, 12.3 bpm higher heart rates during gameplay compared to girls in coeducational classes (mean difference= 12.3 bpm, 95% CI= 1.8 bpm, 22.8 bpm; p= 0.022).


Imported from ProQuest Vargos_ilstu_0092N_10958.pdf

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