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Secondary school students' attitudes toward fitness testing

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Kevin John Mercier
Abstract:
The purpose of this investigation was to develop an instrument that has scores that are valid and reliable for measuring students' attitudes toward fitness testing. A second purpose of the study was to determine the attitudes of secondary students toward fitness testing. A review of literature, an elicitation study, and a pilot study were conducted. The pilot study included 427 student completed instruments from three schools. Pilot study data analyses were conducted resulting in a proposed model for the final study. Participants for the final study were 1199 students from 13 schools which consisted of 524 boys and 675 girls. The data fit a four factor model for measuring secondary school students' attitudes toward fitness testing with the following four factors: cognitive, affective-enjoyment, affective-feelings, and affective-teacher. The fit statistics from the CFA indicated an overall good fit of the data to this model. GFI, AGFI, RMSEA, Bentler's CFI, and Bentler & Bonett's NFI scores were .892, .862, .080, .920, and .910, respectively. The G-C alpha reliability coefficient for the entire model was .902. The four factors and their reliability scores were: cognitive (α = .919), affective-enjoyment (α = .887), affective-feelings (α = .865), and affective-teacher (α = .801). Secondary school students had an overall neutral to slightly positive attitude toward fitness testing (M = 3.11, s.d. = 0.71). Highest attitudes toward fitness testing were reported in the cognitive factor (M = 3.36, s.d. = .983) while the lowest attitudes occurred in the affective-enjoyment factor (M = 2.52, s.d. = 1.074). A MANOVA indicated significant differences for grade (Wilks' Lambda=.950, F (12, 3143)=2.611, p <.001) and gender (Wilks' Lambda=.902, F (4, 1188)=2.611, p <.01) with an interaction effect between grade and gender (Wilks' Lambda=.974, F (12, 3143)=2.611, p =.002). A stepwise DFA completed on the interaction means showed that the affect-feelings factor (Wilks' Lambda=.927, F (7, 1191)=18.035, p <.001) followed by the affect-enjoyment factor (Wilks' Lambda=.904, F (7, 1191)=13.345, p <.001) were the best predictors of these differences. Boys reported higher attitudes toward fitness testing (M = 3.28, s.d. = 0.74) than girls (M = 2.97, s.d. = 0.66). Boys overall attitude mean scores fell from 3.52 (s.d. = 0.70) in 9th grade to 3.15 (s.d. = 0.72) in 12th grade. Girls overall attitude scores dropped from 3.01 (s.d. = 0.58) in 9th grade to 2.86 (s.d. = 0.77) in 12th grade. A MANOVA indicated significant differences between FitnessGram and the President's Challenge fitness tests (Wilks' Lambda=.985, F (4, 1194)=4.431, p =.001). DFA indicated that the cognitive factor was the predictor of these differences (Wilks' Lambda=.989, F (1, 1197)=13.597, p =.001). Students' whose school administered the FitnessGram reported higher overall attitudes toward fitness testing (M = 3.14, s.d. 0.69) than students whose schools administered the President's Challenge fitness test (M = 3.04, s.d. = 0.74).

TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter I: INTRODUCTION 1 Purpose 4 Rationale 4 Research Questions 7 Dissertation Organization 8 Chapter H: DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION OF AN INSTRUMENT TO MEASURE SECONDANY SCHOOL STUDENTS' ATTITUDES TOWARD FITNESS TESTING 9 Method 13 Elicitation study 13 Item development 14 Pilot study 15 Pilot study data analysis 16 Validation study 18 Participants 18 Informed consent 19 iv

Instrument administration 20 Validation study data analysis 21 Content validity 21 Results 23 Content validity 27 Discussion 29 Chapter III: SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS' ATTITUDES TOWARD FITNESS TESTING 35 Method 39 Recruitment of schools and participants 39 Informed consent 40 Instrument administration 40 Instrumentation 41 Data analysis 42 Results 43 Discussion 48 REFERENCES 54 v

APPENDIX A: Review of literature 62 APPENDDC B: Elicitation study questionnaire 92 APPENDIX C: Pilot study instrument 93 APPENDIX D: Demographic sheet 96 APPENDIX E: Pilot study participants rights and consent form 97 APPENDIX F: Instrument items listed by factor 101 APPENDIX G: Final study demographic sheet 103 APPENDIX H: Final study instrument 104 APPENDIX I: Administrative consent form 106 APPENDIX J: Final study participant rights and consent form 107 APPENDIX K: Instrument administration protocol sheet I l l APPENDIX L: Content validity survey 112 APPENDIX M: Final instrument 118 VI

LIST OF TABLES Table 2.1 Instruments Collected, Discarded, and Used By School 22 Table 2.2 Validation Study Factor Loadings 24 Table 2.3 Fit Statistics for the Final Models of the Initial Pilot Study, Final Pilot Study, and the Validation Study 26 Table 2.4 Final Models - Pilot Study and Validation Study G-C Alpha Coefficients for Each Factor 28 Table 3.1 Overall, Grade, and Gender Descriptive Statistics 44 Table 3.2 Type of Fitness Test Descriptive Statistics 46 Table A. 1 Publication Date of Significant Fitness Tests 65 vn

1 Chapter I INTRODUCTION The National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) identified the purpose of fitness testing as a way to aid students in achieving the goal of lifetime physical activity (NASPE, 2004). This is a worthy goal as obesity levels in the United States have reached epidemic proportions. Over 72 million people have been classified as obese in the United States. Obesity can lead to several health problems, such as Type II diabetes and coronary heart disease (Flegal, Carroll, Ogden, & Curtin, 2010; Ogden, Carroll, Curtin, Lamb, & Flegal, 2010; Ogden, Carroll, McDowell, & Flegal, 2007). Many experts and politicians have called for ways to combat the mounting obesity problem and cited physical education classes as one place to address this concern. Fitness testing is a component of most physical education curriculums (Cooper, Everett, Meredith, Kloster, Rathbone, & Read, 2010) and has the ability to affect the goal of promoting lifelong physical activity (Corbin, 2002; Freedson, Cureton, & Heath, 2000; Hopple & Graham, 1995, Silverman, Keating, & Phillips, 2008; Welk, 2008). Fitness testing has been reported as the most common form of assessment used in physical education (Ferguson, Keating, Bridges, Guan, & Chen, 2007). In addition to its prevalence, fitness testing is the most common memory adults have of physical education (Hopple & Graham, 1995). Due to an increased focus on ways to combat obesity and the frequent use of fitness tests, it is extremely likely that students

2 will continue to participate in fitness testing as part of their physical education experiences. Fitness tests have existed for over a century (Corbin & Pangrazi, 1992). An increased focus on the fitness of Americans led to the development of the first national fitness test in 1958, by the American Association of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (AAHPER). Since that time, fitness tests have been created and have evolved as experts have debated the purposes and philosophies behind the tests and the test items. Shifts from skill-related to health-related fitness test items and from norm-referenced to criterion-referenced standards highlight the reforms which gave way to the fitness tests used today. Fitness testing can be beneficial and aid in reaching the goal of lifelong participation in physical activity if they are implemented and used properly (Silverman et al., 2008). Fitness testing should be part of a fitness education program where students are taught the reasons for fitness testing and how to self-assess their fitness levels (Keating, 2003; Strand, Scantling, & Johnson, 1998; Wiersma & Sherman, 2008). One thing that influences participation in physical activity is attitudes. Attitudes play a large role in many of the decisions we make (Solmon, 2003), such as whether or not to remain physically active. Attempts to define attitude have often been met with a degree of ambiguity and confusion (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). Salient beliefs, those beliefs formed through information relevant to the behavior, lead to the formation of attitudes which can be either positive or negative (Ajzen, 1991; Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980).

3 The Theory of Reasoned Action [TRA] (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) posits that attitudes and subjective norms lead to behavioral intentions. A person's attitude combined with how they think others will perceive their actions cause the intended behavior. The TRA identifies attitudes as a significant predictor of future behaviors. Many factors determine the development of attitudes. In the school setting, these could include the teacher, the curriculum, or the student's previous experiences. The TRA applies to research on student attitudes in many areas including physical education and fitness testing. Students' attitudes are of concern as attitudes toward physical education can affect future participation in physical activity (Carlson, 1995; Ennis, 1996; Portman, 1995; Silverman & Subramanian, 1999; Subramanian & Silverman, 2000). The recommendations for conducting fitness testing are also important, as without adherence to these recommendations, students could have negative experiences and develop negative attitudes toward fitness testing and physical activity. A goal of physical education is to promote participation in lifelong physical activity. One way to help students achieve the goal of lifelong physical activity is to aid in the development of positive attitudes toward physical education and health enhancing physical activity. Fitness testing has been and continues to be a component of most physical education curriculums. While recent research has investigated students' attitudes toward physical education (Subramanian & Silverman, 2000, 2002, 2007) and physical education teachers' attitudes toward

4 fitness testing (Ferguson et al., 2007; Keating & Silverman, 2004a), we know little about students' attitudes toward fitness testing. Purpose The purpose of this investigation is to develop an instrument that has scores that are valid and reliable for measuring students' attitudes toward fitness testing. A second purpose of the study is to determine the attitudes of secondary students toward fitness testing. This investigation will build upon previous research on students' attitudes and on fitness testing by examining students' attitudes toward fitness testing. In order to accomplish this, an instrument that accurately measures students' attitudes toward fitness testing must be developed and validated. An instrument with valid scores is necessary to gather data and provide meaningful results to answer questions regarding students' attitudes toward fitness testing. Rationale There are both theoretical and practical reasons for conducting this study. It has been suggested that one way to address the alarming rate of obesity in America is through physical education. Attitudes toward physical education have the ability to impact future physical activity (Carlson, 1995; Ennis, 1996; Portman, 1995; Silverman & Subramanian, 1999; Subramanian & Silverman, 2000), and fitness testing is a component of most physical education programs that leaves a lasting impression (Hopple & Graham, 1995). With a goal of physical education to promote lifelong physical activity, research has investigated students' attitudes toward physical education as well as the proper use and implementation of fitness tests.

5 These research studies were conducted to help students develop positive attitudes and to ensure the proper use of fitness tests. Recent studies have investigated teachers' attitudes toward fitness testing and found that teachers have only slightly positive attitudes toward fitness testing (Ferguson et al., 2007; Keating, Silverman, & Kulinna, 2002). This scholarly activity suggests that experts believe these two concepts, students' attitudes and fitness testing, are important in the development of lifelong physical activity. This study will add to the existing research on both of these important concepts. Also, from a theoretical standpoint, if we understand attitudes toward fitness testing it will allow for further insight into the TRA. It has been shown, as the TRA suggests, that attitudes influence future behaviors (Carlson, 1995). Completion of this study will allow for an understanding of students' attitudes toward fitness testing. This will provide a more comprehensive picture of the attitudes of secondary school students. Research on students' attitudes toward fitness testing will fill a currently existing gap in the research. Existing research, conducted by analyzing scores from a previously validated instrument, has examined students' attitudes towards physical education (Subramanian & Silverman, 2000). Currently, research has not reported on students' attitudes toward fitness testing because an instrument with validated scores for measuring this attribute does not exist. By completing this study, we will begin to understand what the students' attitudes toward fitness testing are and be able to indentify if these are similar or different to students' attitudes toward physical education. This study will advance our knowledge of students' attitudes and their impact on future physical activity.

6 A research gap also exists in the inability to compare teachers' attitudes toward fitness testing to students' attitudes toward fitness testing. If questions regarding teachers' attitudes are of interest, logically, the impact of those teachers' attitudes on their students' attitudes would be of interest. Scores from the development of an instrument to measure students' attitudes toward fitness testing would allow the current research questions and questions from future studies regarding the impact of teachers' attitudes to be addressed. Results could also be used in conjunction with previous studies on students' attitudes towards physical education and teachers' attitudes toward fitness testing. If students' attitudes toward physical education and fitness testing are found to be similar to each other, the same strategies and recommendations for improving student attitudes could be followed. If, however, students' attitudes toward physical education and fitness testing are found to be different, different methods or strategies for increasing students' attitudes would need to be determined and employed. From a practical standpoint, physical educators can benefit from the results of research conducted on this subject. Students are often introduced to physical activity during physical education. Fitness testing may be the only education students receive about physical fitness in school (Fox & Biddle, 1988). Physical educators and researchers could use this instrument and the resulting data to improve students' experiences with fitness testing. If students have low attitudes towards fitness testing, and we could determine why this is the case, teachers could change their lessons in an attempt to address these concerns. Conversely, teachers could learn what students like about fitness testing and build upon those lessons or concepts. These changes

7 could result in an increase in students' attitudes which could lead to an increase in physical activity. Teachers could use this information to vary their teaching strategies in an attempt to achieve their goals. In addition, the characteristics and/or demographics of students with high or low attitudes toward fitness testing can be identified. Scores from this study could indicate factors such as age, gender, or geographic location where students' attitudes are either very high or very low. Teachers could use this information to target those specific individuals or groups likely to develop low attitudes toward physical education and fitness instruction. Research on students' attitudes toward physical education indicated that students' attitudes declined as grade levels increased (Montalvo & Silverman, 2008; Portman, 1995; Subramanian & Silverman, 2007). This study will provide similar information and that would be of great benefit to teachers attempting to develop positive attitudes in all of their students. Research Questions This study will be guided by the following questions: 1. Can an instrument be developed that accurately measures the attitudes of secondary school students toward fitness testing? 2. What are the attitudes of secondary school students toward fitness testing? a. Are there differences in secondary school students' attitudes toward fitness testing for boys and girls and across grades? b. Are there differences in secondary school students' attitudes toward fitness testing for students whose schools use FitnessGram and students whose schools use The President's Challenge?

8 Dissertation Organization This dissertation follows a journal article format (Thomas, Nelson, & Silverman, 2011) where chapters II and III correspond to an article that will be submitted for publication. The research questions guided two studies which are presented in chapter II (question 1) and chapter III (question 2). The review of literature is presented as Appendix A.

9 Chapter II DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION OF AN INSTRUMENT TO MEASURE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS' ATTITUDES TOWARD FITNESS TESTING One purpose of fitness testing is to aid students in achieving the goal of lifetime physical activity (NASPE, 2004). This is a worthy goal as obesity levels and sedentary lifestyles in the United States have reached epidemic proportions. In the United States, over 72 million people have been classified as obese, with obesity leading to several health problems, such as Type II diabetes and coronary heart disease (Flegal et al., 2010; Ogden et al., 2007; Ogden et al., 2010). Fitness testing has the ability to affect the goal of promoting lifelong physical activity (Corbin, 2002; Freedson et al., 2000; Hopple & Graham, 1995, Silverman et al., 2008; Welk, 2008). Fitness testing has been and will continue to be an integral component of physical education programs. Fitness testing can be beneficial and aid in reaching the goal of lifelong participation in physical activity if they are implemented and used properly. One thing that influences participation in physical activity is attitudes. Attitudes play a large role in many of the decisions we make (Solmon, 2003), such as whether or not to remain physically active. Attempts to define attitude have often been met with a degree of ambiguity and confusion (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). Salient beliefs, those beliefs formed through information relevant to the behavior,

10 lead to the formation of attitudes which can be either positive or negative (Ajzen, 1991; Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980). Little is known, however, about students' attitudes toward fitness testing. Research has investigated students' attitudes toward physical education (Montalvo & Silverman, 2008; Phillips, 2010; Subramanian & Silverman, 2000, 2002, 2007) and physical education teachers' attitudes toward fitness testing (Ferguson et al., 2007; Keating & Silverman, 2004a; Kulinna & Silverman, 1999). Scores from instruments designed to measure students' attitudes toward physical education and teachers' attitudes toward fitness testing have been shown to be valid and reliable. These studies, like the current study, were grounded in both attitude theory and psychometric test theory. The Theory of Reasoned Action [TRA] (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) applies to research on students' attitudes in many areas including physical education and fitness testing. The TRA posits that attitudes and subjective norms lead to behavioral intentions. A person's attitude combined with how they think others will perceive their actions cause the intended behavior. The TRA identifies that attitudes are a significant predictor of future behaviors. Many factors determine the development of attitudes. In the physical education setting, a number of factors including the teacher and the curriculum have been shown to be important factors affecting student attitudes (Carlson, 1995; Luke & Sinclair, 1991; Phillips, 2010; Silverman & Subramanian, 1999; Subramanian & Silverman, 2000, 2002, 2007). This study will provide insight as to the attitudes of students toward fitness

11 testing. Understanding students' attitudes toward fitness testing permits examination in a new and different venue. The use of sound psychometric practices is a necessity in the development of an instrument that produces valid and reliable scores to measure students' attitudes toward fitness testing. It is essential in any testing situation that the results reflect sound psychometric characteristics (Morrow, Martin, & Jackson, 2010). When dealing with a concept where there is not one generally agreed upon measurement instrument, such as attitude scores, reliability and validity must be established (Blunch, 2008). In order for instruments to be used with confidence by researchers, their scores need to be shown to be valid and reliable. Good instruments are needed so the information they provide is useful (McDonald, 1999). Though research has been conducted using instruments with valid scores for students' attitudes toward physical education (Montalvo & Silverman, 2008; Phillips, 2010; Subramanian & Silverman, 2000, 2002, 2007) and physical education teachers' attitudes toward fitness testing (Ferguson et al., 2007; Keating & Silverman, 2004a; Kulinna & Silverman, 1999) these results cannot be generalized to secondary school students' attitudes toward fitness testing. Models of attitude development vary greatly even among closely related instruments. Other instruments used to measure attitude do not have the specificity of content needed to accurately measure attitudes toward fitness testing (Messick, 1989). Previous research has not focused on a theoretical model that examines the specific factors and constructs related to fitness testing. An instrument with valid scores will allow meaningful results to be garnered from studies that properly assess students' attitudes

12 toward fitness testing. Without such an instrument, specific questions regarding students' attitudes toward fitness testing cannot be measured. While having an instrument would be an important step, it is only a first step in looking at student attitudes toward fitness testing. Once scores on an instrument are validated, further research on the effects of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status on attitudes toward fitness testing would be permissible. Furthermore, the ability to fully examine these attitudes with other groups and in other contexts can occur. Population generalizability, the ability to generalize results to other population groups, and ecological generalizability, the ability to generalize results to situations or settings (Messick, 1989) can be explored and established to allow for an instrument to be used in a variety of contexts and settings. Much is unknown regarding students' attitudes toward fitness testing, specifically how these attitudes relate to or are affected by other constructs. Attitudes toward fitness testing could contribute to attitudes toward physical education affecting lifelong physical activity. Physical education teachers could contribute to students' attitudes toward fitness testing and in turn affect lifelong physical activity. Without an instrument whose scores have been shown to be valid and reliable for measuring students' attitudes toward fitness testing, questions regarding the interactions of these components cannot be properly investigated. The purpose of the study was to develop an instrument that has scores that are valid and reliable for measuring students' attitudes toward fitness testing. Fitness testing continues to be a component of most physical education programs (Cooper et al., 2010) and has the ability to affect participation in future physical activity (Corbin,

13 2002; Freedson et al., 2000; Hopple & Graham, 1995, Silverman et al., 2008; Welk, 2008). In addition to allowing further insight into the TRA, completion of this study, and validation of the instrument scores, will allow for questions about students' attitudes toward fitness testing to be answered. Method The method for the development and validation of scores for an instrument to measure secondary school students' attitudes toward fitness testing included the following steps: (a) an elicitation study, (b) item development, (c) a pilot study, (d) a validation study, and (e) a content validity study. Elicitation Study A questionnaire was developed to gather responses from high school students regarding their enjoyment and the usefulness of fitness testing (Appendix B). This questionnaire was a modification of the form used during an elicitation study on middle school students' attitudes toward physical education (Subramaniam & Silverman, 2000). The participants for the elicitation study were a convenience sample of 67 students from a high school in Nassau County, in Long Island, NY. Participants were asked to describe what they enjoyed and did not enjoy about fitness testing. They also were asked to explain if they felt fitness testing was useful or not useful. Finally, they were asked to complete the statement, "I believe fitness testing is." Participants were informed that their responses would be kept confidential. They were encouraged to be honest and truthful while also being informed that their participation was optional. Participants had as much time as they desired to answer the open-

14 ended questions and completed the questionnaire in a quiet personal space in a gymnasium or wrestling room. A frequency count of repeated words or phrases was used to identify themes for consideration when developing items. Item Development A review of literature, with a focus on attitude theory and previous instruments used to measure attitude in physical education and with fitness testing (Keating & Silverman, 2004a; Subramaniam & Silverman, 2000) led to the development of an initial model. This model contained two components and eight factors identified as potentially affecting students' attitudes toward fitness testing. Consideration of the themes from the elicitation study also contributed to the development of the eight factors. There were five affective factors and three cognitive factors. The affective factors were (a) enjoyment of fitness testing, (b) goodness of fitness testing, (c) feelings or anxiety toward fitness testing, (d) peers' affect on fitness testing, and (e) teachers' effect on students' affect. The cognitive factors were (a) importance of fitness testing, (b) benefits of fitness testing, and (c) usefulness of fitness testing. Items for each of the eight factors were developed through review of previous instruments used to measure these or similar factors while considering the data gained during the elicitation study. A 40 item instrument was developed (Appendix C). In this instrument, each factor had between four and six items. Fifteen items were negatively worded on the instrument. One item was accidently repeated on the instrument. Scores from this item were removed from data analysis leaving 39 items.

15 The instrument was created so that participants responded to each item by circling the appropriate rating on a Likert-type scale, which ranged from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree). The use of a random numbers chart allowed for each item of the instrument to be placed in random order. A demographic sheet (Appendix D) accompanied the instrument, asking participants to respond to questions regarding year in school, gender, and past experiences with fitness testing. Pilot Study Three schools from the North Shore of Nassau County, New York provided the participants for the pilot study. The investigator recruited the schools by meeting and discussing the nature of the study with each school's director of physical education. Copies of the participants' rights and consent form (Appendix E) and the instrument were provided. Each director met with their respective high school principals prior to granting school permission. Once verbal approval was gained, copies of the participants' rights and consent forms plus the instruments were delivered to the schools. Each physical education director asked from one to three teachers to aid in survey administration. Teachers who chose to participate were responsible for handing out consent forms, collecting completed consent forms and administering the instrument. Consent forms were handed out by the teacher to the students and collected over the span of approximately one week. When the teacher had received consent forms from the majority of the students in each class, the instrument was administered to those students who had turned in their consent form. Students who did not hand in their consent form did not participate in the study. In each school, the

16 instruments were administered at the beginning of physical education classes in the gymnasium. Physical education teachers were instructed to encourage students to follow the directions on the top of the instrument and to remind the students that their participation was voluntary. The investigator observed many rounds of instrument completion at more than one of the pilot study schools. During these visits, it was observed that protocols for instrument administration were being met. Teachers had previously collected consent forms and students were given the opportunity to concentrate while completing the instrument. The investigator collected all consent forms and instruments from each of the three high schools. A total of 456 instruments were collected from the three schools. Instruments that were incomplete or were clearly not completed with thought or intent were discarded. An instrument was discarded if there was an easy to recognize pattern to the item responses identifying a lack of genuineness for completion. The use of negatively worded items made the discovery of these patterns easily discernable. A total of 427 instruments were used for data analysis. School one returned 292 useable instruments, school two 77, and school three 68. The pilot test data contained instruments from 201 girls and 226 boys. The instruments were completed by 124 freshman, 113 sophomores, 64 juniors, and 126 seniors. Pilot study data analysis. Data were entered into an Excel spreadsheet. Categories included the demographic information (year in school, gender, and identifying previous experiences with fitness testing). To protect school anonymity, participants were not asked to identify their school. Schools were assigned, however,

17 a number upon instrument collection, and instruments were labeled appropriately in the spreadsheet. All item responses from completed and useable instruments were entered. Reverse coding of all negatively worded items was completed to ensure that composite attitude scores accurately reflected participants' attitudes. Data were then uploaded into SPSS (Chicago, IL; Version 18) to run Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Guttman-Cronbach's (G-C) alpha internal consistency coefficients were also determined through SPSS for each sub- factor and for the overall model. The correlation matrix produced during the EFA and PCA analysis was then used with SAS (Cary, NC; Version 9.2) to perform Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) with PROC CALIS to produce fit statistics and test whether the data fit the model. The data analysis was an iterative process with items being removed and added in an attempt the find the model of best fit. The theoretical framework, review of literature, and elicitation study resulted in the original two component, eight factor proposed model. Initial EFA and PCA analyses suggested a two component, five factor model for CFA analysis. The CFA fit statistics for this model, however, were unacceptable as the GFI, AGFI, RMSEA, Bentler's CFI, and Bentler and Bonnett's NFI scores, (.629, .569, .118, .665, and .631 respectively), were all moderately to severely below acceptable levels. EFA and PCA analyses were then conducted again. Factor loadings, Eigen values, scree plot data and reliability coefficients were again analyzed as part of this iterative process. The results strongly suggested a four factor model. The correlation matrix from this new four factor model was read into SAS for completion of CFA.

Full document contains 130 pages
Abstract: The purpose of this investigation was to develop an instrument that has scores that are valid and reliable for measuring students' attitudes toward fitness testing. A second purpose of the study was to determine the attitudes of secondary students toward fitness testing. A review of literature, an elicitation study, and a pilot study were conducted. The pilot study included 427 student completed instruments from three schools. Pilot study data analyses were conducted resulting in a proposed model for the final study. Participants for the final study were 1199 students from 13 schools which consisted of 524 boys and 675 girls. The data fit a four factor model for measuring secondary school students' attitudes toward fitness testing with the following four factors: cognitive, affective-enjoyment, affective-feelings, and affective-teacher. The fit statistics from the CFA indicated an overall good fit of the data to this model. GFI, AGFI, RMSEA, Bentler's CFI, and Bentler & Bonett's NFI scores were .892, .862, .080, .920, and .910, respectively. The G-C alpha reliability coefficient for the entire model was .902. The four factors and their reliability scores were: cognitive (α = .919), affective-enjoyment (α = .887), affective-feelings (α = .865), and affective-teacher (α = .801). Secondary school students had an overall neutral to slightly positive attitude toward fitness testing (M = 3.11, s.d. = 0.71). Highest attitudes toward fitness testing were reported in the cognitive factor (M = 3.36, s.d. = .983) while the lowest attitudes occurred in the affective-enjoyment factor (M = 2.52, s.d. = 1.074). A MANOVA indicated significant differences for grade (Wilks' Lambda=.950, F (12, 3143)=2.611, p <.001) and gender (Wilks' Lambda=.902, F (4, 1188)=2.611, p <.01) with an interaction effect between grade and gender (Wilks' Lambda=.974, F (12, 3143)=2.611, p =.002). A stepwise DFA completed on the interaction means showed that the affect-feelings factor (Wilks' Lambda=.927, F (7, 1191)=18.035, p <.001) followed by the affect-enjoyment factor (Wilks' Lambda=.904, F (7, 1191)=13.345, p <.001) were the best predictors of these differences. Boys reported higher attitudes toward fitness testing (M = 3.28, s.d. = 0.74) than girls (M = 2.97, s.d. = 0.66). Boys overall attitude mean scores fell from 3.52 (s.d. = 0.70) in 9th grade to 3.15 (s.d. = 0.72) in 12th grade. Girls overall attitude scores dropped from 3.01 (s.d. = 0.58) in 9th grade to 2.86 (s.d. = 0.77) in 12th grade. A MANOVA indicated significant differences between FitnessGram and the President's Challenge fitness tests (Wilks' Lambda=.985, F (4, 1194)=4.431, p =.001). DFA indicated that the cognitive factor was the predictor of these differences (Wilks' Lambda=.989, F (1, 1197)=13.597, p =.001). Students' whose school administered the FitnessGram reported higher overall attitudes toward fitness testing (M = 3.14, s.d. 0.69) than students whose schools administered the President's Challenge fitness test (M = 3.04, s.d. = 0.74).