Recreation and Sport Studies

Studying, Experiencing and Facilitating Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport through Wellness and Physical Activity

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The Relatively Older Advantage

KIN 6300 Seminars: The Relative Age Effect

Our age is one of the few defining factors today’s society uses to interpret our status and measure our future potential. Typically this is done by using age brackets or by looking at annual age groups. We (I say this meaning Generation Y) have mostly grown up in a society where status, education, friendships and sport are divided by age, where society tries to collectively group together youth that are the same ages for developmental purposes.


But what if I told you, that this creates advantages and disadvantages for these youth? What if I told you that grouping kids within the same annual age, still doesn’t even the playing field in development.

 You might ask:

What are you talking about? They are the same age; of course it’s even.images1

My response:

Within a given year there are 12 months, in which a kid born in January has 11 months of development and maturity under them then a kid who was born in December. And the most miraculous part is they are the same annual age.

Furthermore, our current social, education and sport systems have had to deal with the problem of how to group children for equal and safe competition.

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Female students in a Physical Education Setting: How Comfortable Are They in the Gym?

As a graduating undergraduate in RSS, an article I would like recommend reading is:

Couturier, L. E., Chepko, S., & Coughlin, M. (2007). Whose Gym Is It? Gendered Perspectives on Middle and Secondary School Physical Education.Physical Education,64(3), 152-158.

For a majority of RSS students and grads being involved in physical activity is something that we are all generally interested in and enjoy taking part in. Unfortunately this is not the case for all students going through school whether at a middle or high school level. This in particular is even more a problem among young girls in physical education classes. This paper focused on the differences between male and female youth participating in physical education classes in the U.S. They found their results by giving out 7000 copies of a survey they generated through trial studies.

Unlike males, as females get older they tend to become less interested in physical education. They determined that this was due to some physiological, psychological and sociological reasons. Using the survey they determined that the girls in these schools were less likely to want to participate in physical education classes because they were not comfortable changing in front of others in the lockeroom, they didn’t want to get sweaty before their next class, and they didn’t think they were good enough at the sports being offered in class therefore were less likely to have fun or participate.

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