Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Kinesiology


Elizabeth Skidmore Edwards

Susan Nye

Trent Alan Hargens


Intro: In comparison to children, adolescents achieve significantly less physical activity (PA). Additionally, activity differences exist among genders and race/ethnicities. One way to influence the PA habits of adolescents is through high school physical education (PE). Though PE class reaches students of all ages, genders and races, motivation and experiences across these groups appear to differ.

Purpose: The purpose of the present study is to determine if physical education descriptors, motivators, and experiences in ninth and tenth grade students differ across gender, race/ethnicity, and grade.

Methods: Students completed a questionnaire about the factors that influence their motivation and experiences in PE class. Responses were compared across gender, race/ethnicity, and grade.

Results: Primary findings show that boys and freshmen had more positive experiences in PE class than girls and sophomores, respectively. Additionally, Caucasian students had more negative experiences in PE class in comparison to students of any other race/ethnicity.

Discussion: These findings illustrate the necessity for PE teacher sensitivity when teaching students of different genders, grades, and ethnic backgrounds and for attention to the social aspect of PE classes among females. Also, the results demonstrate the need for future research in this area.