Term of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Daniel R. Czech

Committee Member 1

Brandonn S. Harris

Committee Member 2

Bridget Melton

Committee Member 3

Bridget Melton

Abstract

The prevalence of obesity in Generation Z, which includes individuals born after the year 2000, has tripled that of Generation Xers of 1980 (Ogden et al., 2010). Rising levels of obesity have been associated with increased physical inactivity (WHO, 2013). Attraction to physical activity can be grounded in the Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985), which defines intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and the roles each type of motivation plays in social and cognitive development. The purpose of the current research was to use a mixed-methodological approach to understand attraction to physical activity of a Generation Z sample via semi-structured focus groups and the Children's Attraction to Physical Activity (CAPA) assessment. Based on these results, the secondary purpose was to determine whether significant differences exist between attraction to physical activity and gender within the Generation Z sample. The focus groups revealed two overarching themes: attraction and aversion to physical activity, each with subthemes. The CAPA test revealed significant differences between males and females (t = 2.78, df =63, p = < .05), indicating that males (3.39 ±.32) were significantly more attracted to physical activity than females (3.13 ± .40). Clinical relevance is discussed as are future research and program implementation suggestions.

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