Adapting Television Cultivation Theory Variables to determine the effects of P.E.TV on Middle School Viewers' attitudes toward Physical Activity


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Virginia Tech


Physical Education Television (P.E.TV) is a curriculum supplement package, consisting of a series of 10-12 minute long videos and a teachers' support manual, for use in physical education and health classes in middle and high school. The program has been distributed to over 13,000 schools across the United States. The creators of P.E.TV have stated that they intend the program to influence adolescents' attitudes toward physical activity, and to encourage wellness. Reports from a national survey of educators have shown that teachers believe that their students' attitudes are being affected by the program. This experimental study examined if that is the case for 7th graders in a rural Southwestern Virginia Junior High School.

Four intact 7th grade physical education/health classes were selected for the study. The students were randomly assigned to the classes by school administrators. The classes were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. The treatment group (two 7th grade classes) viewed 10 P.E.TV shows over a period of 9 weeks. The same teacher taught all four classes. All participating students filled out a questionnaire consisting of the "Weekly Activity Checklist" and a television cultivation exposure questionnaire, at the beginning of the 9 weeks to determine their activity levels and viewing habits before the experiment. Students were categorized into groups based on activity level, amount of television normally viewed, and predominant type of television show viewed to allow for attribute-treatment-interaction analyses.

A post-test only design was used to find out if P.E.TV influenced the students' attitudes toward physical activity. The Children's Attitudes Toward Physical Activity scale was used to assess the students' attitudes. Three hypotheses were tested using a one-way Analysis of Variance and two hypotheses concerning attribute-treatment-interactions were tested using a two-way Analysis of Variance for each. Levels of significance were set at .05. The analyses indicated that there were no statistically significant differences in attitudes toward physical activity between treatment and control groups as well as no statistically significant differences within the treatment groups concerning attribute-treatment-interactions.



cultivation theory, attitudes, television, physical activity