Motivations for physical activity and their contribution to adolescent adaptive psychophysiological potential

PhD, Associate Professor O.L. Tarasova1
Dr.Biol., Professor E.M. Kazin1
Postgraduate L.N. Skotnikova1
Dr.Med., Professor L.N. Igisheva2
N.V. Igishev3
1Kemerovo State University, Kemerovo
2Research Institute for Complex Problems of Cardiovascular Diseases, Kemerovo
3Football Club KUZBASS, Kemerovo

Keywords: adolescents, motivations for physical activity, psychophysiological qualities, functionality resource, physical fitness.

Background. For the last few years the national science has provided sound grounds for the ontokinesiological concept for the physical activity improvement initiatives in the modern school health programs [2, 3, 8]. The health service quality in the physical education service system is controlled by the relevant psychological, educational, medical and physiological test services [1, 4] using the sets of health, adaptability and personality progress rating criteria that ideally should also test and profile the interrelated needs, motivations, adaptability resources, cognitive qualities and functionality [4]. The physical education and sports motivations are formed based on the natural need for physical activity within the relevant genetic and environmental contexts [7]. With age, since the senior school period, the natural need for movement tends to fall, with the people being exposed to the growing risks of physical inactivity and the associating health disorders – that are increasingly ranked among the priority problems the world over [5,10,11]. The latest study reports have showed that the Russian senior schoolchildren still generally appreciate the physical education and sports / health service values and benefits and tested with fair physical education and sports motivations – and every component of such motivations remain among the key priorities for research in the national physical education and sport service system [5, 9].

Objective of the study was to explore the physical activity customizing resource by analysis of the age-specific psychophysical qualities, cardio-respiratory system functionality resource and physical fitness.

Methods and structure of the study. Sampled for the study were the 12-16 year old (n=302 including 139 females and 163 males) Kemerovo city residents, with 53% reporting their assisted physical activity being limited by the school physical education classes; 26% enjoying group health/ recreation service in the swimming, dancing, team sports etc. groups 1-2 times a week; and 21% having 2+ year long sport group training experiences and sport qualifications. Their motivations were probed by a special questioning form based on the valid health test procedure recommended for the national education system [6]. The sample was also tested for neuro-dynamic qualities including the short-term memorizing skills, memory scope and temperament rated by the V. Rusalov Test; individual mental qualities rated by the Cattel’s 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire; anxiety rated by the A. Prikhozhan test method; aggressiveness rated by A. Bass and A. Darki test; cardio-respiratory system functionality reserve rated by the Stange-Gench Breath-Holding Test and Ruffier-Dickson index; and for strength, endurance, speed, dexterity and flexibility by the standard school tests.

Results and discussion. The physical education and sports motivations of the sample were found gender-specific, with the male group rated by the higher average points on a 100-point scale (72.3±0.19 versus 63.1±0.16, р=0.002); and with the gender differences spotted since 15 years of age: see Figure 1 hereunder. Responses to the natural need for movement probing questions (‘I like the physical education classes’; I am happy to physically train on my own’; ‘I would readily attend the physical education classes even if they were optional’ etc.) also showed the boys’ need for movement being higher than the girls’ one (9.06±0.2 versus 7.4±0.2; р=0.001).

Figure 1. Age- and gender-specific physical education and sports motivations

• – gender-specific motivations; * – age-specific motivations (p<0.05)

Points Years Males Females

The neuro-dynamic and psychodynamic qualities tests showed the physical education-and-sports-motivated group being better than the unmotivated one in the short memorizing qualities (5.8±0.2 versus 5.2±0.2 points, р=0.03) and simple visual-motor response test rates (latent periods of 249.7±6.8 versus 276.6±10.1ms, р=0.02). Furthermore, the physical education-and-sports-motivated group was tested better than the unmotivated on specific temperament scales by the V. Rusalov Test including the high subjective determination (24% versus 12%); plasticity (46% versus 27%); pacing ability (52% versus 39%); and, to a degree, emotionality scales (36.4% versus 54.5%). Therefore, the need for a versatile physical activity, high determination in cognition and progress and the relatively high emotionality were typical for the dynamic behavioral models driven by the need for movements.

The Cattel’s 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire tested the physical-education-an-sports-motivated group higher than the unmotivated in A factor (9.3±0.4 versus 7.2±0.3;  р=0.02) and C factor (8.9±0.5 versus 5.2±0.5; р=0.004); and lower in the O factor (7.1±0.3 versus 9.1±0.4, р=0.05) and Q4 factor (5.0±0.5 versus 7.6±0.4; р=0.02) – that is indicative of their open-mindedness, friendliness, emotional balance, better relaxation, lower frustration and low proneness to anxiety and depression. The A. Prikhozhan anxiety test found the physical education-and-sports-motivated group (both sexes) lower on the somatic-vegetative anxiety manifestations rating scale than the unmotivated one (28% versus 44%).

Aggression tests are ranked high among the psycho-physiologic qualities rating tests. The physical-education-and-sports-motivated group was tested higher than the non-motivated on the physical aggression scale (62.3±1.8 versus 55.0±2.5, p=0.04) and negativism scale (57.8±2.0 versus 44.0±2.3; p=0.03) – that may be interpreted as the higher activity of the dopaminergic structures of the forebrain. Moreover, the indirect aggression rate was tested lower in the physical-education-and-sports-motivated males versus the unmotivated (54.2±2.4 versus 69.3±3.2; p = 0.03). The physical-education-and-sports-motivated females were tested lower than their unmotivated peers on the verbal aggression (59.0±2.3 versus 65.3±2.6, p = 0.04) and resentment (45.5±2.2 versus 53.3±3.1, p=0.04) scales

The physical activity motivations were obviously and closely correlated with its actual levels and telling on the physical development and motor quality rates. The physical-education-and-sports-motivated group was tested with the higher rates in every functionality test (see Table 1) and mostly higher motor qualities than their unmotivated peers (Table 2).

Table 1. Functionality test rates: physical-education-and-sports-motivated versus unmotivated groups, M±m

Test rates

Motivation classes

р <0.05

(Mann–Whitney test)

Low

Moderate

High

Ruffier index, points

9,4±0,4

8,4±0,4

7,8±0,3

1-3

Stange test, s

48,8±2,2

55,3±2,0

59,9±2,1

1-2,1-3

Gench test, s

24,4±1,1

27,7±1,2

28,8±1,5

1-3

 

Table 2. Physical fitness test rates versus the physical-education-and-sports-motivation classes, %

Tests

Motivation classes

P<0,05

(t-test)

Low

Moderate

High

Shuttle sprint

7

33

59

1-2,2-3,1-3

30m sprint

15

25

49

2-3,1-3

6min race

7

25

35

1-2,1-3

Spine flexibility

7

17

24

1-3

Pull-ups on a bar

11

28

46

1-2,2-3,1-3

Standing long jump

4

8

30

1-3,2-3

 

Conclusion. The study found the adolescents’ physical activity motivations being gender- and age-specific (with the male group tested with the higher natural need for physical activity), and correlated with the short-term memorizing, visual motor response, temperament, character, functionality and many physical qualities test rates. The motivation groups in the sample were found different in the psycho-physiological test rates including the neuro-dynamic, psychodynamic and individual emotionality rates. The study data gives the grounds to believe that the age-specific physical education and sports motivations are determined both by the social (family traditions and lifestyles, school environments etc.) and biological factors and, hence, the physical activity motivations may be considered an indispensable component of an individual psychophysical resource shaped up largely by the relevant social and biological factors. This finding is recommended being taken into account by the individualized physical education and sports model designs.

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Corresponding author: tol_66@mail.ru

Abstract

For the last few years the national science has provided sound grounds for the ontokinesiological concept for the physical activity improvement initiatives in the modern school health programs. The study was intended to explore the physical activity customizing resource by analysis of the age-specific psychophysical qualities, cardio-respiratory system functionality resource and physical fitness. Sampled for the study were 302 adolescents whose physical activity and physical education motivations were profiled by a questionnaire survey form making a special emphasis on the health service by the educational system; plus the sample was also tested for neuro-dynamic qualities including the short-term memorizing skills, memory scope and temperament rated by the V. Rusalov Test; individual mental qualities rated by the Cattel’s 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire; anxiety rated by the A. Prikhozhan method; aggressiveness rated by A. Bass and A. Darki test; cardio-respiratory system functionality reserve rated by the Stange-Gench Breath-Holding Test and Ruffier-Dickson index; and for strength, endurance, speed, dexterity and flexibility by the standard school tests.

The study found the physical activity motivations being gender- and age-specific, and correlated with the short-term memorizing, visual motor response, temperament, character, functionality test rates and many physical qualities; and, therefore, the physical activity motivations may be considered an indispensable component of an individual psychophysical resource shaped up largely by the relevant social and biological factors.