The article, Afterschool school triathlon training for 11- to 14-year old girls: Influences on academic motivation and achievement, is a study on transforming, promoting good health habits, independency and motivation, as well as physical fitness for middle school adolescences that range in ages 11-14 across the United States.
The objective of the study is to find out how environmental influences such as triathlon training, peer guidance, nutrition, and health-based science instruction in an ASP, affects a student's motivation and academic achievements.
A semi-structured interview method was used to develop questions regarding individual goals, thoughts on the structure of the program and location, and the effects in regards to the approach related to academics and motivation.
Another method used was a qualitative method which is used to gather non-numerical data. The study used the qualitative method by grouping voluntarily 6th through 8th grade African American, Caucasian and Hispanic young females.
These participants were placed into two focus groups, and then five to seven young females were surveyed. After about 12 weeks, once the program had ended, the young females were then interviewed in order to compare the distinction between modification and maturity within the girls. Once that was competed, after another 12 weeks had passed the young females were then interviewed again but this time by grade level and race. The interviews that were conducted lasted no more than 40 minutes and the participants remained anonymous.
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During this informal triathlon training program, it served as the intervention for the young females and this intervention contributed to improvement in several executive functions and achievements. In a qualitative research, the researchers are responsible for gathering the information needed to conduct interviews and then they explore the concept of the research in order to provide clear understanding in regard to the situation. Using a qualitative research method helps obtain richer information and has a deeper perception into the phenomenon being studied.
In the article, A Qualitative Exploration of Participant Motives Among Committed Amateur Triathletes, it is said that participation in an activity may become integrated with daily life and form a central part of the individual's social identity (Lamont, M., & Kennelly, M. (2012)). The results of the study showed how the young female participants created a positive effect on their lives by building self-confidence, self-determination, self-motivation, good health habits and good academic discipline through a triathlon after school program.
Social support, motivation and self determination, and confidence and self-acceptance were the techniques used to obtain the end results. Based on the results, the drawn conclusion was that the young girls learned to self regulate learning and set goals that promoted improved fitness and academic achievement, better attitudes, and resilience (Gatz, J., & Kelly, A. M. (2018)).
The study used inductive data analysis reasoning by moving from one observation to a broader generalization and theory. Because the study is based on the behavior and the reaction of the participants the use of inductive reasoning would be a logical process that combines what is believed to be true or found to be true in order to obtain a specific conclusion. The study includes a natural setting, as the young girls can experience the problem and the solution regarding the research study.
A natural setting also allows researchers to directly observe individuals, it allows the research to be based on ideas that cannot be manipulated and it helps to support the validity of the study. The evidence in the study is logical and it comes from the statistics provided within the interviews which were based on the characteristics and intervention of the participants. With regards to race, the study also focused on BMI, height, weight and age. The findings that good ASPs can provide the time and individual attention needed to establish good healthy habits and academic success, support several previous researches.
In this article I do feel that appropriate and ethical applications were applied fully for the researcher to reach their research goal. Researchers are faced with ethical challenges during the entire research process, from designing to reporting. These ethical challenges include anonymity, confidentiality, informed consent, as well as the researcher potential impact on the participants and vice versa.
Taking into consideration the nature of the qualitative study being used, the interaction between both participant and researcher can be ethically challenging. The researcher was sure to use ethical approaches when completing the study by obtaining approval from the review board and consent from parents or guardians, and the participants. By changing the participants names, the study used confidentiality and remained grounded to the study at hand.
Ethics is said to be something that brings good and avoids harm to the researcher and participant. By using an ethical application of appropriate principles harm can be reduced or avoided altogether. However, the protection and safety of an participants is imperative.
In this qualitative research, the researcher is more focused on exploring, examining and describing individuals while in their natural habitat or environment. Between the researcher and participants, relationship and power are embedded within the research method. However, in order to minimize the power between the two, focus group settings were an important aspect within the study. It is said that group interviews have been an effective way to help relax the participants in the company of their peers and minimize coercion as they collectively share, build on each other's experiences, and discuss a wider range of opinions than what may occur during an individual interview (Eder and Fingerson, 2002)(Gatz, J., & Kelly, A. M. (2018)).
The participants willingness to share his or her experiences will solely be based on the participates desire to participate. Ethical problems in a qualitative research is much different from quantitative research and so, in the article, ethical conflict will only arise based on the researchers access to the community and its participants.
The study uses the qualitative method approach in order to complete the research. A qualitative method approach is collecting data and then drawing a conclusion or hypothesis based on that data. This approach was appropriate in conducting the study because it allows the audience to recognize the situation by being able to see and hear from the participants. This approach also helps us understand not only what people think but why they think that way. It opens a path to being truthful and to be their selves. In today's society, it is more difficult to understand what people think and how they perceive life. But because a qualitative method approach is more communicative and descriptive, it is easier to understand the reason for the study.
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The study used a snowball sampling, as the young girls were selected by the school personnel based on their level of at-risk for low self-esteem, a sedentary lifestyle, and/or classification as overweight (Gatz, J., & Kelly, A. M. (2018)). I do feel that the sample selection in the article is adequate based on the age group, and background description. When conducting a scientific experiment, a sound design is vitally important, it gives a chance of a successful experiment and drastically impacts the result of the study.
The research article is a sound experimental design, because it provides information on the number of participants, their ages, and location for the study. In the article, the method section provided clear and a precise description on how the research was conducted and why the procedures within the study were chosen. The method section describes the process used to answer the research question and how it was done, it justifies the experimental design and provides information on the results. As discussed, ethics were considered in the study and the study was approved by the Institutional Review Board affiliated with Stony Brook University, and consent and assent were obtained from the participants and their guardians (Gatz, J., & Kelly, A. M. (2018)). Within the study, the results of qualitative method are descriptive, and a conclusion can be drawn easily from the data that is gathered.
The data presented gives an understanding on the important implications for health education. The title in the table Participants' characteristics, accurately describes the content presented within the table and it provides information on the characteristics of the individuals within the study. The table labels and headings are also accurate. The study process combines self-esteem building lessons, nutrition, and health science education and the table provided the information needed to conduct the study using those combination. This study explores the effects of a middle school physical activity intervention for adolescent girls. The data in the table provided is organized data and so it is easier to compare and interpret the study and the results. The results in the study compliment the table provided because the program helped with staying in shape physically and mentally, building self-confidence and building knowledge on how to shape and train our future selves. It has different activities and set ups that it is hard to have repeated data because the experiences being described were different for each and had a different effect.
Even though the information provided did not really obtain calculations, the data presented was clear and easy to follow. This study was intended to get people to understand the importance in promoting health status, academic motivation and socioemotional development in at-risk girls aged between 11– 14 years attending middle school. The researcher's intentions were to find out what is needed to create positively influenced goal setting, strategies, health, fitness, motivation, and academic achievement (Gatz, J., & Kelly, A. M. (2018)). The study does represent what the researcher's intentions are. The study describes and shows that an afterschool school triathlon training can help increase confidence, self-determination and academic achievements through participants intervention.
The research design used in the study was a qualitative method. The research design is a systematic subjective approach used to describe life experiences and give them meaning. The goal is to gain insight by exploring the depth, richness, and complexity of the study. A qualitative method approach is much easier and less rigorous and can provide an in depth understanding about a phenomenon that cannot be reached in other ways. The role that the study used helped to explore those feelings and ambitions by providing a program that will determine how adolescents create self-motivation in order to continue forward. The role of the qualitative method also was used in the study to help with the complexity of the hypothesis in order to break it down and be able to answer yes or no.
The article discussion states that self-reflection was evident when girls provided examples of how they approached problems, difficult tasks, or social situations where they previously had felt marginalized and experienced low self-esteem (Gatz, J., & Kelly, A. M. (2018)). This statement shows that based on the results provided from the table, the discussion provides similar understanding regarding the results which rises logically from the data provided. The study does have several limitations that were addressed and taking into consideration.
Limitations are characteristics that may have impacted the findings in a research. The researchers within the study did recognize that the bias interpretation regarding the interview transcripts even though minimized through recognition of viewpoints, judgements and assumptions were a limitation within the study. The study also recognized that because of the sample size the study will not be able to be generalized into a larger population, but future study is being recommended. The significance of the study is to show the importance of motivation and self-determination and how it can help with life mentally and physically through physical and mental conditioning. The study impacts the benefits of theoretical knowledge by providing an understanding as to why after school triathlon programs are helpful in developing physically and mentally.
I feel that the study was successful. The study had a clear and understanding objective by providing information on what is trying to be achieved or learned. Being able to understand the objective also helped with understanding the participants involved. To know and understand the objective and the different methods used in a qualitative research will help with the outcome of the study. The study was also able to capture an aspect of social life, rather than using numbers. The study was plausible, coherent and did not need quantitative analysis to back it up. The study also eliminated research bias by starting with a questioner before diving into the study to ensure good reflexivity was established.
Reflexivity refers to a reflective process in which a researcher considers how the findings were produced, taking into consideration the prior knowledge, and our role in it." The study is also successful because of the methods that were used. In this study a focus group was used to get above the superficial answers and uncover the attitudes and behaviors of the participants. The focus group within the study consisted of a small group of individuals who were guided through a discussion or activity by program personals. Another reason I feel that the study is successful is because it conducted quality data analysis. A good qualitative data analysis helps with ensuring good enough quality data and its focus on ground theory. Young females are one of the nation's important assets, but many fail at trying to achieve their full potential because of the barriers that make it impossible for participation in physical activity. Based on the study and the results provided it shows that caring and social relationships are two of the most important aspects that help with the development of the young female participants.
Gendered expectations and sociocultural forces are other aspects that helped shape and will continue to shape the participants opinions, values and behaviors. It is clear from the data provided in the study that underserved girls will face challenges with dealing with personal worth within poverty, racism and sexism. The study provides social implications by showing that physical activity as a young adult can help with your physical and mental capabilities. Political implications are in study will help in getting more schools to incorporate after school programs that consist of physical activities. The medical implications of the research show how physical activity can help with healthy habits and mental abilities. The significance of the study is evaluated through the understanding of the introduction, the structure of the study and the implications giving by the study. In conclusion, sports-based youth development programs can help at risk young females, through caring relationships and opportunity for physical activity, can help with mastering life and leadership skills through a challenging environment. In addition, critical thinking, community involvement and empowerment will also be developed through a sport-based youth program. The study provides evidence-based information in order to help practitioners, policy makers and researchers collectively attempt to socially change the lives of young girls through physical activity. The study did provide significant understanding by providing an explicit structure, order, and broad patterns among the group of young female participants.
Gatz, J., & Kelly, A. M. (2018). Afterschool school triathlon training for 11- to 14-year oldgirls: Influences on academic motivation and achievement.Health Education Journal, 77(2) 156-168. https://doi.org/10.1177/0017896917739444
Lamont, M., & Kennelly, M. (2012). A Qualitative Exploration of Participant Motives Among Committed Amateur Triathletes. Leisure Sciences, 34(3), 236–255. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=s3h&AN=75162655&site=eds-live&scope=site
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