Research Methods in Physical Activity / Edition 3

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Researchers in the physical activity field must have a firm understanding of the research process in order to evaluate data and reach valid conclusions. Research Methods in Physical Activity, fourth edition, facilitates this understanding in a format that is both instructional and entertaining to read.

Designed for the graduate-level student enrolled in a research methods course, the text also is an excellent reference for experienced researchers wishing to hone their analytical skills as well as learn new research methods and techniques. The concepts apply to every aspect of the study of physical activity, including exercise science, kinesiology, movement studies, physical education, sport science, and sport studies.

Research Methods in Physical Activity, fourth edition, is completely revised and updated. Features of this new edition include

  • expanded information on evaluating data and statistical power,
  • a simplified explanation of multivariate procedures,
  • a new approach to nonparametrics parallel with parametric procedures, and
  • a new chapter on exercise epidemiological research.
Research Methods in Physical Activity, fourth edition, covers all aspects of the research process, from developing and defining a research problem to writing a research report. Readers will enjoy the humorous anecdotes and sketches, a reflection of the authors' belief that research reporting need not be dry and pompous; it can be entertaining.

The book contains both black-and-white and two-color illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

This graduate-level text for students in a first research methods course covers every aspect of the study of physical activity, including exercise science, kinesiology, movement studies, physical education, and sport studies. Humorous b&w photos and anecdotes add spice to material on using the library, preparing a prospectus, statistical and measurement concepts, various types of research, and ways of presenting research results. Features of this new edition include expanded information on evaluating data and statistical power, and a new chapter on exercise epidemiological research. Thomas (health and human performance, Iowa State University) and Nelson (professor emeritus, Louisiana State University) "take no responsibility for any divorce that results from using this book as an anniversary present." Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780880114813
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 485

Meet the Author

Jerry R. Thomas, EdD, is professor and chair of the department of health and human performance at Iowa State University. Besides writing the previous editions of this book, Thomas has authored more than 200 publications, 87 of which are data-based refereed publications, with numerous contributions in research methods. Awarded the C.H. McCloy Lecturer in 1999, based on his career research production, Thomas has served as editor in chief for Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and as a reviewer for most major research journals in kinesiology and numerous journals in psychology. He has also served as president of the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education, of the AAHPERD Research Consortium, and of the North American Society for Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. He was named an AAHPERD Alliance Scholar in 1990 and NASPSPA Distinguished Scholar in 2003, based on lifetime achievement in research.

Jack K. Nelson, EdD, is professor emeritus in the department of kinesiology at Louisiana State University. Nelson conducted and published research and taught research methods for 35 years. He has advised more than 50 doctoral dissertations and more than 50 masters' theses focused on the research process. In addition, he has more than 80 publications and has served as editor of research publications. A fellow in the Research Consortium, he has been a member of AAHPERD, the American Educational Research Association, and the American College of Sports Medicine. He has also served as president of the Association for Research, Administration, Professional Councils and Societies (now AAALF) and as vice president of AAHPERD.

Stephen Silverman, EdD, has taught and written about research methods for over 20 years. He is a professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and he has conducted research on teaching in physical education focusing on how children learn motor skill and develop attitudes. He has published more than 50 research articles in addition to many books and book chapters. Silverman is a fellow of both the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) Research Consortium. A former coeditor of the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education and current editor in chief of the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, Silverman was the American Educational Research Association Physical Education Scholar Lecturer and a Research Consortium Scholar Lecturer and Weiss Lecturer for AAHPERD.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Overview of the Research Process 1
Ch. 1 Introduction to Research in Physical Activity 3
Ch. 2 Developing the Problem and Using the Literature 25
Ch. 3 Presenting the Problem 49
Ch. 4 Formulating the Method 61
Ch. 5 Ethical Issues in Research and Scholarship 73
Pt. II Statistical and Measurement Concepts in Research 91
Ch. 6 Becoming Acquainted With Statistical Concepts 93
Ch. 7 Relationships Among Variables 113
Ch. 8 Differences Among Groups 135
Ch. 9 Nonparametric Techniques 167
Ch. 10 Measuring Research Variables 181
Pt. III Types of Research 201
Ch. 11 Historical Research in Physical Activity 203
Ch. 12 Philosophic Research in Physical Activity 219
Ch. 13 Research Synthesis (Meta-Analysis) 237
Ch. 14 The Survey 261
Ch. 15 Other Descriptive Research Methods 277
Ch. 16 Descriptive Research in Physical Activity Epidemiology 291
Ch. 17 Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Research 309
Ch. 18 Qualitative Research 331
Pt. IV Writing the Research Report 353
Ch. 19 Completing the Research Process 355
Ch. 20 Ways of Reporting Research 375
App. A: Statistical Tables 393
App. B: A Brief Historical Overview of Research in Physical Activity in the United States 407
App. C: Computers in Research and Scholarship 411
App. D: Sample Consent Forms 417
References 427
Author Index 442
Subject Index 444
About the Authors 449
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