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Res Q Exerc Sport. 2013 Mar;84(1):104-14.

Exploring the connections between caring and social behaviors in physical education.

Author information

1
Department of Health and Human Sciences, Bridgewater College, 402 East College Street, Bridgewater, VA 22812, USA. Igano@bridgewater.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study explored the relationship between the caring climate, empathy, prosocial behaviors, and antisocial behaviors, like bullying, in physical education, plus investigated whether empathy mediated the possible relationships between caring and social behaviors for boys and girls.

METHOD:

Middle school physical education students (N = 528) completed measures assessing a caring climate, empathy, social behaviors, and bullying.

RESULTS:

A partial mediation model was supported, chi2(94) = 206.82, p < .001, comparative fit index = .97, Tucker-Lewis index = .96, root mean square error of approximation = .05, standardized root mean squared residual = .04, which was also invariant across sexes. A perceived caring climate positively predicted prosocial behavior and cognitive empathy and negatively predicted antisocial behavior, like bullying. Cognitive empathy mediated the relationship between caring and prosocial behavior.

CONCLUSIONS:

Collective findings suggest that creating a caring climate is one tool that physical education teachers may use to promote positive behavior.

PMID:
23611014
DOI:
10.1080/02701367.2013.762322
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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