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Mon Jul 7, 2014, 10:01 PM

Study: Kids Bullied in Gym, Sports Avoid Future Activity

Many people believe that mandatory P.E. encourages sedentary kids to become physically active. They are sadly mistaken. Especially when the kids have no interest in sports.

http://www.athleticbusiness.com/more-news/study-kids-bullied-in-gym-sports-avoid-future-activity.html



Study: Kids Bullied in Gym, Sports Avoid Future Activity
by Lois M. Collins, Deseret News January 2014


AthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2014 The Deseret News Publishing Co.
Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)


When kids are bullied during physical activities like PE classes and sports, they tend to withdraw from being physically active -- not just in class, but in general. A year later, kids who are picked on are less active, according to a study led by BYU researchers.

That's true of both overweight and healthy-weight kids, the study found. The research is published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

The research touches on two different factors in child well-being that concern experts. First, physical activity -- or its lack -- and the resulting weight gain have serious ramifications for both present and future health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and others. Research suggests that only 8 percent of school-age children get the recommended one hour of physical activity a day that federal guidelines say they need. Obesity is considered by health officials to be a national epidemic that includes children.

At the same time, the U.S. Department of Education's National Center on Educational Statistics noted that at least 13.5 million episodes of bullying were reported in 2011, ranging from insults to threats and physical harm. It's not a count of how many students were actually bullied, since some students were likely bullied in more than one way and other students probably never reported incidents, but it is suggestive.

Intrigued by earlier research that suggested kids who are bullied by peers may become more sedentary, the researchers in the BYU-led study decided to look at what happens when the bullying itself involves physical activity. "Kids may be teased about their physical skills, ostracized when teams are chosen for sports, or criticized for their physical appearance when they wear exercise clothing," said lead researcher Chad D. Jensen, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Brigham Young University.

Sitting it out

"Children who have been criticized for their physical skills, chosen last and ridiculed seem to avoid physical activity, perhaps because from previous experience they figure it's punishing and they'll stay on the sidelines," Jensen said.

The researchers asked 108 students from several Midwest grade schools questions that ranged from what their diets were like to how they were treated by peers. The research focused on a "constellation of physical, psychological, emotional and academic functioning," Jensen said.

Using two surveys, they asked about health and activities, feelings, whether the children had problems with other children and how they felt about and performed in school. They also asked about bullying, although they didn't call it that, measuring things like feeling put down and perceptions of how others see them, as well as how upset the child felt as a result of how he or she was treated.

They found that even a year later, children ages 9 to 12 who had been teased during physical activity were less active than those who had not been teased. The finding was especially true for healthy-weight kids a year later, he added. Overweight children who were teased experienced a decrease in their health-related quality of life, including physical, social and academic well-being.

Activity matters

"Children's early experiences with physical activity can influence their exercise habits well into adulthood," Jensen said. He cites the benefits of an active lifestyle: reduced risk for obesity, depression, diabetes, sleep problems and other physical and mental health issues.

The American Academy of Pediatrics "Bright Futures" report notes that "physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle and must begin in infancy and extend throughout adulthood. Regular physical activity increases lean body mass, muscle and bone strength and promotes good physical health. It fosters psychological wellbeing, can increase self-esteem and capacity for learning and can help children and adolescents handle stress."

Jensen hopes the study will serve as a call to action. It highlights how important it is to prevent bullying in schools and on the playing field. "We encourage educators and other adult leaders to intervene if children are being teased during physical activity and to consider physical education classes and recess important domains for bullying prevention," he said.

The other researchers were Christopher C. Cushing of Oklahoma State University and Allison R. Elledge of University of Kansas.

EMAIL: lois@deseretnews.com, Twitter: Loisco



January 26, 2014



Copyright 2014 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Reply Study: Kids Bullied in Gym, Sports Avoid Future Activity (Original post)
radicalliberal Jul 2014 OP
bluestateguy Jul 2014 #1
radicalliberal Jul 2014 #4
xfundy Jul 2014 #2
radicalliberal Jul 2014 #6
TlalocW Jul 2014 #3
radicalliberal Jul 2014 #7
TlalocW Jul 2014 #8
radicalliberal Jul 2014 #9
TlalocW Jul 2014 #10
radicalliberal Jul 2014 #5
LWolf Jul 2014 #11
radicalliberal Jul 2014 #12

Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 10:10 PM

1. And for me it worked the opposite way

I was mocked and made fun of in elementary and middle school, bullied if you will. I was socially awkward, nerdy and eccentric.

But I was also really good at kickball, tennis, badminton, handball, softball, soccer and I could run really fast. I was mediocre at flag football and basketball, but I held my own.

My athletic prowess earned me a level of respect from other kids who otherwise had been bullying me. The bullying tapered off.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 11:07 PM

4. I'm glad the bullying tapered off, but you're missing the point of the article.

And you're overlooking the misery experienced by nonathletic boys in mandatory P.E.

The article addresses the question of whether forcing nonathletic kids to "play" sports in mandatory P.E. has had any beneficial effect upon them. The answer is "No." In other words, the supporters of mandatory P.E. were lying or self-deluded when they said they were concerned about sedentary kids not getting enough exercise. The fact is they were never really concerned about physical fitness; otherwise, they would have provided exercise programs for the nonathletic kids, the ones who were precisely the most in need. But the phys ed establishment never was interested in promoting physical fitness. They were only interested in promoting sports, as if that even needed to be done; and they cared only for the athletic kids. They viewed nonathletic boys as sissies, effeminate losers, "feminized males." A form of bigotry based on false gender stereotypes.

I'm concerned about this issue not as a sedentary guy. As a diabetic, I'm very concerned about physical exercise. For the last seven years, I've spent a small fortune on personal trainers at a local health club working on a bodybuilding program. I didn't set foot in a health club for reasons stated in the article. Since I felt rejected by the "jock" culture, I mistakenly believed that health clubs were the exclusive property of athletes. Believe me, my health club experience has been completely different (in the positive sense of the word) from the mandatory P.E. experience of my youth, which was nothing less than an exercise in hypocrisy (no pun intended). The difference between the two has astounded me.

Just to be sure I'm not misunderstood, I'm not saying team sports should be taken out of the schools. Traditional P.E. should be retained as an elective. Unless exercise programs are provided for the nonathletic students, they should not be required to take a class that is completely useless to them.

I'm sick and tired of masculinity being defined in terms of athletic prowess. How many of the courageous Freedom Riders in the early 1960s were "jocks"? I've not been able to find the answer to the following question in any biographical literature, but did the eminent Soviet physicist and human rights activist Andrei Sakharov participate in any sport when he was a boy? Raoul Wallenberg, who was one of the greatest heroes of World War II, saved the lives of at least 10,000 Hungarian Jews. He risked his life repeatedly to save others. (He suffered a horribly unjust fate when he was abducted by agents of Stalin's secret police to the notorious Lubianka prison in Moscow, where he disappeared into the Soviet gulag never to be seen again.) His half-sister has said he "detested competitive team sports." So, I guess Wallenberg was deficient as a man because he never participated in sports? He wasn't a "real man," eh? He was just a wimp? Yeah, sure!

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 10:26 PM

2. My experience fits the story's trajecture.

I was a fat kid, humiliated not only by other kids but also by coaches. Lost 90lbs @24, still would never have a "trainer" or coach get near me. Still uncomfortable being naked. That hurt lasts a lifetime.

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Response to xfundy (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 8, 2014, 02:13 PM

6. Unlike bluestateguy, you understand what the point of the article is.

Your post serves an an indictment of mandatory boys' P.E. Yet how many guys are there in the sports crowd who object to this kind of mistreatment of nonathletic kids? The answer seems to be . . .



Congratulations on your weight loss! You may have more will power than I. If I didn't work with a personal trainer, I'd probably goof off!

I've had a very positive health-club experience. Granted, I was a bit nervous when I went to the local 24 Hour Fitness for the first time. But I've had very supportive relationships with all of my personal trainers, even though I had a nonathletic background and they all were young former athletes. (I've had a succession of personal trainers because each one has had to make career changes for one reason or another. In other words, it had nothing to do with me.) I've encountered none of the machismo one would expect. My health club is like a second home to me. Two of them once asked me if I was a sports fan. When I said I wasn't, they weren't offended. In fact, I was (and currently am) a favorite client of each one of them.

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 11:02 PM

3. I always performed well enough to get As in gym

But I was a nerd and really piss poor at throwing a ball, etc. and received my share of mocking/bullying, which drove me to solitary sports - jogging, weight-lifting, and just to throw everyone for a loop, I wrestled my junior and senior year primarily because my math teacher, the wrestling coach, who I respected, asked me to. I consider wrestling solitary because even though you're part of a team, you only have yourself to rely on in a match. I remember in 8th grade, Fridays were often free days in gym so that often meant pick-up basketball games except for me. There was a little alcove in the gym that lead to the heating/cooling system of the school that I would get in and practice juggling five balls (a passion at the time). It counted for physical activity.

Even now I'm very solitary in my physical activity. I've taken up jogging again, and an old college friend has tried repeatedly to get me to come run with his club, but I probably never will. I like the solitude and serenity of it, and I'm thinking of getting a bike because I don't know if my knees will be able to handle a very rigorous jogging schedule.

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 8, 2014, 02:26 PM

7. In my school district, none of the coaches I knew would give a nonathletic boy the time of day. n/t

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Response to radicalliberal (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 8, 2014, 10:28 PM

8. Well, I started lifting my freshman year

And by the time I was a junior I had bulked up considerably so that's why he asked me, he was also an all around good guy that respected students if they at least made an effort in whatever it was they did. I recall his signing my senior yearbook along the lines of, "Thanks for being a student interested in more than just breathing."

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #8)

Wed Jul 9, 2014, 01:53 PM

9. When I was in school, mandatory P.E. began in the fourth grade and continued --

Last edited Wed Jul 9, 2014, 03:07 PM - Edit history (4)

-- through junior high. (Since I was a band student in high school, I wasn't required to take it -- which was quite fortunate for me because, as I heard, for nonathletic boys it was even worse than it had been in junior high).

You seem to be implying that I was the one who was responsible for the misery I experienced in mandatory P.E. (in contrast to my health club experience). Please ask yourself this question: Why is it that I languished in P.E. but have flourished at my health club? What accounts for the difference?

None of the coaches even mentioned exercise programs. Not even bodybuilding. And as an uninformed boy in his early teens, I knew nothing about bodybuilding or any sort of exercise program. I had to be taught about them, but never was by any of my mandatory P.E. coaches. There was not even any instruction in the sports themselves. We were never taught how the games of baseball, basketball, and football were played. We were never taught how to throw a baseball or a football or how to shoot a basketball. These are physical skills that must be taught, but they never were taught by any of my P.E. coaches. Any boy who was obviously and painfully lacking in these areas never received any offer of remedial instruction.

I'm glad you had a positive experience in your P.E. classes, but please don't assume your experience was universal with your implication that any boy who suffered or has suffered in mandatory P.E. has only himself to blame. (By the way, why must every boy be forced to participate in sports? It certainly isn't necessary to get into shape!) Some P.E. coaches have been outright bullies who never should have been hired in the first place. (A friend of mine who played football at the university where he earned his degree in sociology once was physically assaulted by one of his high-school coaches.) I suggest you do Google searches on "phys ed bullying" and "p.e. bullying" and take the time to read messages that have been posted by men who experienced (or witnessed) humiliation and/or bullying in mandatory P.E.

Tell you what, I'll do you a favor by copying and pasting an example. For the sake of providing context, I'll also post a link to the topic in which the DU member (lerkfish) posted.

128. 7's point, although conjecture, does bring up a valid issue...

(even if it turns out to be irrelevant in this particular case) the issue being that crimes committed by sports players are more likely to be covered up by administrators than crimes by other students.

Witnessed it myself many times. The old "boys will be boys" defense for cover ups. I saw a lot of behavior from sports players that were not only bypassed by normal discipline procedures, but in some cases, encouraged by faculty as they occurred. I personally witnessed the football team grab a "geek" in the shower after gym, do a "dogpile" on him and force him to the team's jocks over his mouth and face while being taunted with various homophobic slurs. The coach was not only a witness, he was orchestrating it. The only reason he finally stopped it was because he realized having 8 heavy guys on your chest and jocks stuffed in your face was probably preventing the kid from breathing.
Unless some discipline happened behind the scenes, I never saw any punishment against the students involved.


Of course, I'm 46, so I would have hoped that situation no longer happens, but I would not be surprised if it continues.

7's point is that sports players are wrongly accorded a select set of looser behaviour rules compared to regular students.128. 7's point, although conjecture, does bring up a valid issue...

(even if it turns out to be irrelevant in this particular case) the issue being that crimes committed by sports players are more likely to be covered up by administrators than crimes by other students.

Witnessed it myself many times. The old "boys will be boys" defense for cover ups. I saw a lot of behavior from sports players that were not only bypassed by normal discipline procedures, but in some cases, encouraged by faculty as they occurred. I personally witnessed the football team grab a "geek" in the shower after gym, do a "dogpile" on him and force him to the team's jocks over his mouth and face while being taunted with various homophobic slurs. The coach was not only a witness, he was orchestrating it. The only reason he finally stopped it was because he realized having 8 heavy guys on your chest and jocks stuffed in your face was probably preventing the kid from breathing.
Unless some discipline happened behind the scenes, I never saw any punishment against the students involved.


Of course, I'm 46, so I would have hoped that situation no longer happens, but I would not be surprised if it continues.

7's point is that sports players are wrongly accorded a select set of looser behaviour rules compared to regular students.

http://election.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x1389741

Frankly, you appear to lack empathy for victims of bullying, especially nonathletic boys. I'm not surprised. There has always been an element of intolerance in the culture of school sports directed against them. (For example, two friends of mine played football at a "rival" school in our district. Years later they would tell me that most of their teammates had looked down on the nonathletic guys at their school as being inferior. Incidentally, as this period included the year 1968, many of them also supported the segregationist candidate George Wallace for President. So much for football building character!) Wouldn't you say that the attitude you have just manifested is more appropriate for a RW forum? Try to broaden your view (and develop your sense of compassion) instead of trying to shame anyone who was ever bullied in P.E.

Have a good day, buddy.

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Response to radicalliberal (Reply #9)

Wed Jul 9, 2014, 03:31 PM

10. TL; DR

Especially after your bullshit that I was implying something, which I wasn't. In my previous posts I mentioned that I was mocked and bullied, and that drove me to solitary sports. I was lucky enough that I had a math teacher who was also a wrestling coach who wasn't a jerk, but I still go for solitary sports even now.

Notice I didn't say anything about something being wrong with you. I'm sorry if you still have issues - justified ones - from those days. Hell, I still do, but don't foist your shit off on me and call me things I'm not. I don't appreciate it, "buddy."

TlalocW

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Tue Jul 8, 2014, 12:33 AM

5. * sigh * Here's another "so you won't misunderstand me."

I'm not an elitist. I would never detract from anyone's enjoyment of a sport as a participant or a spectator. I simply don't feel sports fans have the right to impose their preference upon others who have no interest in sports, especially unwilling sensitive children. If I had a teenage son who wanted to play football in high school, I would support him. But if he developed a sense of entitlement, I'd be very disappointed in him; and if he turned out to bully other students, he would be in deep, deep trouble with me.

This article has really upset me because I know from my own childhood that it's true. (I didn't learn until 2007 that as a boy I had been defrauded by the mandatory P.E. of my youth. My first personal trainer at the health club, of all people, inadvertently pointed that out when he showed me how to shoot a basketball -- something that was never taught in any of my P.E. classes.) It's still true today for many nonathletic boys, who are definitely marginalized in the schools.

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Thu Jul 10, 2014, 12:41 PM

11. It's not just the boys.

It happens to girls, too.

In my idealistic fantasy world, PE would consist of things like hiking, biking, swimming, skiing, tai chi, yoga, pilates...

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Response to radicalliberal (Original post)

Fri Jul 11, 2014, 09:48 PM

12. I was not civil to TlalocW. In fact, I was rude and not fair.

For that, I apologize.

(This apology is not made in reaction to his last post, which I have not read. It is simply an admission of being wrong.)

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