Perceived Benefits of Physical Education in University Students and Their Effects on Adjustment to University Life*

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<p>Maladaptation to university life by undergraduates has often been reported in recent years. Therefore, improvements in the provision of support for student is urgently required. Previous studies have indicated that physical education (PE) classes might provide effective opportunities for improving students' adjustment to universities. The purposes of this study were to develop a scale for quantitatively evaluating perceived benefits of PE in university students and to verify its reliability and validity. Then, the effects of perceived benefits of PE on adjustment to university life were examined by using this scale. A questionnaire survey was conducted with university freshmen (n=2,412) that were enrolled in four-year universities and were taking PE classes. The survey questions consisted of items for developing the assessment scale, and a school adjustment scale. The “Perceived Benefits Scale of university First-Year PE classes (PBS-FYPE)” through exploratory factor analysis. The scale consisted of following sub-scales: “Acquisition of motor skills and training methods,” “Understanding the importance of cooperative play and improvement of communication skills,” “Stress coping and arousal of positive feelings,” “Improvements in physical fitness and physical activities,” and “Establishment of regular lifestyles.” Subsequent analyses confirmed the adequate internal consistency and criterion-related validity of the scale, as well as its reliability and validity. Next, the effects of perceived benefits of PE on adjustment university life were examined by multiple group structural equation modeling taking part in individual and group sporting events. Results indicated “the sense of comfort” was relatively well explained in both groups by the value of the explanatory variables. Moreover, higher scores for “Understanding the importance of cooperative play and improvement of communication skills” were associated with a higher scores for “the sense of comfort”. This effect was stronger in group, compared to individual activities. Finally, limits of this study and future issues including the investigation of factors related to the scale and the necessity for longitudinal research are discussed.</p>



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