Emotions in the Physical Activities of Czech Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in General and Special Education

By Kurková, Petra | Journal of Physical Education and Sport, December 2015 | Go to article overview

Emotions in the Physical Activities of Czech Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in General and Special Education


Kurková, Petra, Journal of Physical Education and Sport


Introduction

Regular physical activity increases active longevity, improves quality of life and supports the health of individuals of all ages (Blair & Morris, 2009). However, current research indicates a global decline in the physical activity of children, young people and adults (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000). On the other hand, there are apparent efforts by interested specialists to reverse or at least mitigate this negative trend. These efforts are especially visible in the field of school education where the school environment provides a significant opportunity to introduce children, pupils and students to regular physical activity and a healthy lifestyle (Finn, Johannsen, & Specker, 2002; McWilliams et al., 2009). Skills, habits and attitudes are formed as early as during childhood and, if supported by targeted motivation and reinforcement, they may persist into adulthood (Sallis & McKenzie, 1991; Stewart & Kluwin, 2001). This is why some of the important roles of a school are to support its students' health and lead its students to live a healthy lifestyle both in and out of school.

In contrast to the general awareness of the benefits of physical activity, they involvement in physical activities by students who are D/HH or have any additional disability is much lower (Kosma, Cardinal, & Rintala, 2002). For example, Longmuir and Bar-Or (2000) in their study discovered that young people who are D/HH or disabled (especially with cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy) have a significantly lower level of habitual physical activity than their peers and there more obstacles to prevent it from happening. As a result of their physical inactivity, children who are D/HH tend to be more overweight in comparison to the majority population (Dair, Ellis & Lieberman, 2006).

Individuals who are D/HH may perceive participation in physical activity as limiting. Tsai and Fung (2005) include the feeling of separateness and difference from mainstream society and the lack of available information among the main factors that impede the participation of students who are D/HH in the context of leisure physical activity. As a result of their information deficit, persons who are D/HH may be disadvantaged with regard to health and having an active exercise regimen compared to the majority of the population (Iezzoni, O'Day, Killen, & Harker, 2004; Pollard & Barnett, 2009). It is particularly important that people who are D/HH and are physically inactive regularly devote some time to physical activity since it significantly helps to improve their quality of life (Nemcek, 2014; Nemcek & Krucanica, 2014).

In addition, engaging in physical activity is about values, lifestyle, and social interrelationships, including experiencing emotions. The emotions experienced by sport performers in an organizational environment during the past month were tested by Arnold and Fletcher (2015) in the Sport Emotion Questionnaire. For young athletes, McCarthy, Allen and Jones (2013) explored the relationship between emotions, cognitive interference and concentration disruption.

A key success factor in developing a positive attitude towards regular lifelong physical activity is the level of intrinsic motivation in students (Lonsdale et al., 2009). Motivating students to participate in long-term physical activity in their adulthood also depends on their teachers' skills. The issue of intrinsic motivation and emotional relationships with physical education in the majority of the population has been addressed in many studies (Biddle, Wang, Kavussanu, & Spray, 2003; Pekrun, Elliot, & Maier, 2006; Pekrun et al., 2004; Vlachopoulos, Biddle, & Fox, 1997). Personality factors such as intrinsic motivation, self-confidence and a feeling of belonging all significantly contribute to increased participation in physical activities by individuals who are D/HH (Salbu, 2013).

A comprehensive comparative study focusing on the experience/perception of pleasant and unpleasant emotions in physical education by students who are D/HH under the conditions found in general schools, in schools set up specifically for these students and by their hearing peers is still missing. …

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