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Br J Educ Psychol. 1992 Feb;62 ( Pt 1):56-72.

Post-primary school pupil's interest in physical education: age and gender differences.

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  • 1School of Psychology, Queen's University, Belfast.


Interest in Physical Education (PE) was studied in 3,344 11 to 18 year-old school children. Five aspects of educational importance (PE connotation, PE status, PE teacher, PE curriculum, and adolescent disturbances in relation to the PE lesson) were identified, and examined in relation to pupils' interest. For the younger age groups girls' interest in PE was significantly higher than that of the boys, while after the age of 14 the reverse was the case. The status of PE as a school subject was found to be the most important variable for interest in PE. The contribution of the PE teacher to pupils' level of interest was the least important of the factors examined. The results are discussed in terms of the differing importance for boys and girls of sport in social status systems for peer popularity. Suggestions for changes to PE lessons are offered.

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