Field dependence-independence and physical activity among adolescents
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Given the established relationship between field dependence-independence (FDI) and sport, motor learning, and physical education, FDI is expected to have some impact on physical activity involvement. The purpose of the study was to investigate the impact of FDI on adolescents’ physical activity level. The foci of the study were to examine if there were any significant difference (1) in levels of physical activity, and (2) in physical activity behaviors, between FD and FI adolescents in a randomly selected school day. One hundred and thirty-eight students in Clarke Middle School participated in the data collection of the study. The portable Rod-and-Frame Test (PRFT) and Self- Administered Physical Activity Checklist (SAPAC) were used to examine FDI status and physical activity level of the participants. Of the 138 participants, top one-third scorers (n = 46) on PRFT were classified as field-dependent (FD) students, and bottom one-third scorers (n = 46) as field-independent (FI) students. The differences in physical activity levels and in physical activity behaviors between FD and FI groups were examined with two-way ANOVA. It was found with the study that (a) FI adolescents had a considerably higher level of physical activity than FD adolescents in a randomly selected school day, (b) after school period was the time for FI adolescents to demonstrate higher level of physical activity involvement than FD adolescents, (c) there were much more FI adolescents than FD adolescents who were involved in organized sports and this contributed greatly to enhancing FI adolescents’ level of physical activity, and (d) FI adolescents were more likely than FD adolescents to participant in physical activities that were more related to sports and expended more energy. The results indicate that FDI is a factor that influences physical activity level of adolescents, and that FI adolescents have a tendency to be more involved in sport and physical activity than do FD adolescents.