| || || Academic achievement -- Fiji -- Physiological aspects|
| || || Physical activity, learning self-efficacy and academic achievement of adolescent students : the field-level study in India and Fiji |
Author: Mandal, Susmita
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: High school students -- India -- Health and hygiene, High school students -- Fiji -- Health and hygiene, Academic achievement -- Fiji -- Physiological aspects
Call No.: pac LA 2270 .I14 M36 2016
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: Because general and mental health problems among adolescent students are increasing in modern societies, the contemporary literature urges the engagement of young people in sufficient physical activity to maintain their well-being. But parents and teachers do not embrace positive attitudes towards such activity, since it diverts students’ attention and time from academic activity. Consequently, they do not encourage adolescents towards this activity sufficiently, especially in developing societies, where securing a decent job is highly competitive. The present study investigates whether time devoted to physical activity adversely affects academic aspects like academic emotional state, learning self-efficacy and academic performance. Improvement in such aspects not only promotes academic development but also helps adjustment to the formal educational system and in combating various inefficiencies facing them in the rapidly changing socioeconomic environment. The existing literature records few studies in this area; those that do concentrate on the interface between physical activity and academic achievement show contentious results that encourage further study. The objective of this study is to investigate the possible influence of physical activity on the attainment of such academic aspects as academic emotional state, learning selfefficacy and academic achievement of adolescent students. This influence must be through the acquisition of positive sociopsychological states by acquiring physical activity self-efficacy as a first step to improvement in general emotion, self-confidence and school adjustment in India and Fiji. The study relies on the positivist/quantitative paradigm and elicits cause–effect relationships to draw robust findings. A structured questionnaire was developed to capture the proposed variables such as physical activity, physical activity self-efficacy, general emotion, self-confidence, school-adjustment, academic emotional state, learning self-efficacy and mathematics learning self-efficacy into a quantitative framework. A survey collected relevant information for these variables from 873 adolescent students of class X from 16 schools selected in rural and urban areas in India and Fiji. Academic achievement measures were derived from school records and student reports. Cronbach’s alpha test was used to assess the reliability of the instruments to justify the questions, before principal component analysis (PCA) was employed to construct suitable indices of the sociopsychological variables. Since the questions used to represent any sociopsychological instrument are not all equally vii important, coefficients of the first component derived from PCA were used as weights to construct an index of the sociopsychological variable. Statistical analyses such as ANOVA and regression methods were followed to establish various relationships among the variables. Finally, a structural model was used to establish the pathway from physical activity to academic achievement through various sociopsychological channels. The results suggest that the sample of students were participating in physical activity mainly by walking, bicycling and nationally popular sports, like cricket in India and volleyball and rugby in Fiji. More than 50% of the total sample of adolescent students engage in physical activity at the lowest level (0–1.4 hours per day), and 23% spend less than 30 minutes. No significant difference was apparent between the average levels of physical activity in India and Fiji, and girls engaged in physical activities at a significantly lower level than boys in both countries. Father’s occupation and mother’s education played a significant positive role for students’ physical activity in India, but not in Fiji. This apart, the statistical results suggested that physical activity definitely had improved academic emotional state, learning and mathematics learning self-efficacy and academic achievement of adolescent students, by enhancing their positive psychological states such as physical activity self-efficacy and then, general emotion and self-confidence, but not through school adjustment, because the attitude of school administration boards towards this activity was not positive. The findings of this study are in line with contemporary research studies, which show the positive influence of physical activity on students’ overall development, including academic aspects; moreover, undertaking pathway analysis significantly advances the existing understanding. The study affords anatomical proof of Bandura’s (1994) theoretical model of the sources for developing learning self-efficacy. By advancing the awareness of the numerous benefits of physical activity among teachers, parents, educators and policy makers, this study would improve their attitude towards this activity so that physical education is placed in the school curriculum with due emphasis and care.