Students’ individual attitudes to academic competitions: questionnaire survey

PhD, Associate Professor L.G. Pashchenko
Nizhnevartovsk State University, Nizhnevartovsk

Keywords: students, competitions, student sport club, physical education and sport service, individual attitudes.

Background. The national sport development policies give a special priority to the initiatives to popularize the mass physical education and sport events and services as required by the relevant regulatory documents. The ongoing healthy lifestyle and physical education and sport promotion initiatives at universities have been unsuccessful so far in many aspects as demonstrated by the still limited numbers of the young people joining the optional academic physical education and sport events including the individual and team competitions. The students’ physical education and sport motivations profiling surveys have found that the competitiveness related motivations (leadership, success, gaming ones) are still low enough in the national student communities [4].
It is the academic sports clubs that are generally designed to activate students and encourage their physical education and sport activity [2]. The academic system management gives a special priority to university competitions, festivals, games and other mass sport events to promote and cultivate modern healthy lifestyle in the student communities and engage every student in a habitual physical education and sport / health activity. Thus the ‘From Exam to GTO Badge’ Competitions have become traditional for the members of the Russian Student Sport Clubs Association (SSCA). Nizhnevartovsk State University (NSU), for instance, reports 4% of the full-time students joining the competitions this year.
As provided by N.N. Vizitey, appeal of the physically active/ sporting/ body shaping individual lifestyle is facilitated by the relevant world outlooks of the physical-education-and-sport -active individuals [1]. That is the reason why the academic physical education and sport service research gives a special priority to surveys of the individual PRS attitudes and motivations in the student communities.
Objective of the study was to survey the individual physical education and sport motivations of the sporting (including those joining the ‘From Exam to GTO Badge’ competitions) versus unsporting students.
Methods and structure of the study. We used for the purposes of the study analyses of the available theoretical and practical literature on the subject, questionnaire surveys and standard mathematical statistics processing tools. The Attitudes to Academic PRS Competitions questionnaire survey (tested valid and dependable) was used to test and analyze the competitive attitudes and the relevant emotional, cognitive, operational and self-fulfillment aspects, with every aspect rated on an 18-point scale. The individual physical education and sport motivations were rated on a 72-point scale with the 0-34, 35-55 and 56-72 point ranges rated as low, average and high, respectively. Sampled for the survey were the Nizhnevartovsk State University full-time 1-3-year students (n=160) from every department split up into the following groups: Group 1 of the Physical Education and Sports Department students (n=33 including 21 males and 12 females) competing in the SSCA-managed ‘From Exam to a GTO Badge’ individual competitions; Group 2 of non-Physical Education And Sports Department sporting students (n=55, including 35 males and 20 females) competing in the above; and Group 3 of the non-competing students (n=72, including 32 males and 40 females) attending only the obligatory academic physical education and sport classes and reluctant to join the above competitions.
Results and discussion. As provided by the self-identification theory (with its individual activity, progress determination, goal setting and prioritizing, developmental etc. aspects), individual behavior is determined by both own motivations and external and internal drivers [5]. The young people’s personality attitudes to one or another activity are subjectively determined by the individual motivations for the activity [3]. Foreign study reports appear somewhat controversial on the issue of the individual attitudes to and motivations for an activity versus the performance. Thus J. Ajzen [6] found the attitudes, intentions and behaviors being correlated; whilst the S.G. Trost, N. Owen et al. [7] overview found the physical education attitudes to and physical education performance being uncorrelated. Theoretical studies of the leading Soviet and Russian researchers generally agree on the issue that individual attitudes grow over the individual lifecycle with the performance efficiency being determined by the social system of subjective attitudes and the relevant individual predispositions and motivations for the activity.
The individual sporting/ physical education attitudes and motivations building process is facilitated by positive emotions, experiences and accumulated knowledge and skills that may be used as the competitive physical education and sport attitude, activity and inactivity categorizing and rating criteria. The attitudes to competitions mean herein the multisided weighted individual opinions on the academic competitive physical education and sport related motivations, emotions, actions, initiatives etc. – that may be used to rate the individual determination for the competitive physical education and sport models and tools. The Attitudes to Academic Physical Education And Sport Competitions questionnaire survey form was used to test and analyze the competitive attitudes and the relevant emotional, cognitive, operational, activity and self-fulfillment aspects. Given in Table 1 hereunder is the comparative analysis of the gender-specific competitive physical education and sport motivations.

Table 1. Students’ gender-specific competitive physical education and sport motivations (М±m)

Group

EA

CA

OA

AA

Инт.

Males

1 (n=21)

14,1±0,6

14,5±0,6^

15,1±0,6^

13,8±0,8^

57,6±1,9*^

2 (n=35)

12,6±0,6

11,1±0,6

12,3±0,6

11,8±0,6

47,8±2,0*°

3 (n=32)

11,5±0,5

10,2±0,8^

10,2±0,7^

9,4±0,7^

41,3±2,5^°

Females

1 (n=12)

13,7±0,5

14,2±0,6^

13,5±0,7

12,0±0,8^

53,5±1,9^

2 (n=20)

13,9±0,6

13,5±0,7°

13,8±0,6

12,3±0,9°

53,7±2,4°

3 (n=40)

12,0±0,4

9,8±0,6^°

10,3±0,5

8,0±0,5^°

40,3±1,7^°

Note: EA emotional aspect; CA cognitive aspect; OA operational aspect; AA activity aspect; INT intensity rate; with the significant (р<0.05) differences between * Group 1 and 2; ° Group 2 and 3; and ^ Group 1 and 3

As demonstrated by Table 1, the Physical Education and Sport department bachelors were found much more motivated for physical education and sport activity; and the Group 2 was also tested higher on this scale than the unsporting peers reluctant to compete. The Group 1 and 2 females were tested on this scale much higher than the Group 3 peers. On the whole, 45%, 41% and 14% of the sample were tested with the positive, neutral and negative attitudes to the academic competitions, respectively; with the negative attitudes dominating in the students unmotivated for and forced into the physical education progress tests by administrative tools. The unsporting group reluctant to compete was tested 17%, 48% and 25% positive, neutral and negative to physical education and sport activity, respectively, with the relatively high proportion of neutral attitudes in the sample giving the reasons to believe that the neutral share may be still motivated for the academic physical education and sport service with its individual and team competitions.
Conclusion. Individual physical education and sport attitudes and motivations profiling studies are important for the academic physical education and sport / health/ mass sports promotion service customization and efficiency improvement initiatives geared to popularize different competitive events in the student communities.

References

  1. Lubysheva L.I., Peshkova N.V. Analiz razvitiya studencheskogo sporta: sostoyanie i perspektivy [Analysis of development of student sports: status and prospects]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury. 2014. no.  1. pp.  39-41.
  2. Mosharova T.V. Teoriya i praktika sotsialnogo samoopredeleniya podrostka v uchebnoy deyatelnosti [Theory and practice of social self-determination of teenager in learning process]. Doct. diss. [Hab.]. Yaroslavl, 1999. 371 p.
  3. Pashchenko L.G., Krasnikova O.S. Vliyanie dvigatelnogo rezhima studentov vuza na pokazateli fizicheskogo zdorovya [Influence of motor mode on physical health of university students]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2017, no. 6, pp. 24-26.
  4. Ryan R.M., Deci E.L. Teoriya samodeterminatsii i podderzhka vnutrenney motivatsii, sotsialnoe razvitie i blagopoluchie [Self-determination theory and support of intrinsic motivation, social development and well-being]. transl. by R.A. Voronova. Vestnik Altayskogo GPU. 2003. no. 3-1. pp. 97-111.
  5. Ajzen Icek. The theory of planned behaviour: Reactions and reflections. Psychology & Health. 2011. Vol.26. no.9. pp. 1113-1127.
  6. Trost S.G., Owen N., Bauman A.E., Sallis J.F., Brown W. Correlates of adults’ participation in physical activity: review and update. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 2002. Vol. 34, no.. 12. Рp. 1996– 2001.

Corresponding author: korichko_nv@mail.ru

Abstract
The government sport development policies give a special priority to the initiatives to popularize the mass physical education and sport events and services as required by the relevant regulatory documents. The study analyzes data of a questionnaire survey geared to probe the sporting versus unsporting students’ attitudes to academic tournaments in the Student’s physical education Tests for the GTO Badge Competitions. The attitudes to competitions mean herein the multisided weighted individual opinions on the academic competitive physical education and sport related motivations, emotions, actions, initiatives etc. The Attitudes to Academic physical education and sport Competitions questionnaire survey form was used to test and analyze the competitive attitudes and the relevant emotional, cognitive, activation and self-fulfillment aspects. On the whole, 45%, 41% and 14% of the sample were tested with the positive, neutral and negative attitudes to the academic competitions, respectively; with the negative attitudes dominating in the students unmotivated for and forced into the physical education progress tests. The relatively high proportion of neutral attitudes in the sample gives reasons to believe that the neutral share may be still motivated for the academic physical education and sport service with its individual and team competitions.