Gibbons, Sandra



Phone number: (250) 721-8383
Department: School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Ed

Research description:

-Adolescent female participation in physical activity and school-based physical education programs.
-Effects of team building activities on self concept of children and youth.
-Moral development of children and youth through physical education.
Expertise Profile
Sandra Gibbons works with high school teachers to design programs that encourage girls to continue in physical education courses all through high school.

Research shows that people who engage in physical activity in their youth will likely carry the practice into their adulthood lives as well. But the majority of girls drop out of phys ed as soon as it's no longer required in Grade 11. "We know that physical activity is a huge contributor to overall health," Dr. Gibbons says, "so it is sad to see them drop out and not reap the benefits of physical activity."

To attract girls, Dr. Gibbons says, phys ed programs need to include more than just competitive team sports: "We've found that young women would like to be active; however, they're more interested in a variety of physical activities." Girls are more attracted to programs that give them some control when choosing activities and that emphasize personal goals and participation over skills.

Dr. Gibbons has recently begun studying social support strategies for phys ed classes. Research shows that girls--more so than boys--need to feel socially connected to their peers. "If girls develop some skills and some sense of autonomy, and if they feel connected to their peers in phys ed courses," Dr. Gibbons says, "then maybe they'll continue to take them."

Related Links
Sandra Gibbons' Faces of UVic Research video:

Health related research:

Adolescent female participation in physical activity and school-based physical education programs.

Countries lived or worked in:

The United States

Community projects

Physical Education curriculum development in several Victoria secondary schools.

UVic Speakers bureau

Sandra Gibbons takes part in the UVic Speakers Bureau.
More information about the Speakers Bureau can be found here.

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