Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Physical Education

First Advisor

Fred M. Olson


The purpose of this study is to describe selected socio demographic characteristics of South Dakota State University undergraduate physical education majors. At present little is known about the socio-demographic characteristics of South Dakota State University’s physical education majors their personal characteristics and past experiences, their interests, their future career plans, major influences on their choices, and other characteristics. However, there is substantial evidence concerning the personality characteristics of physical education students and teachers. Gruber and Perkins studied the personality traits of women physical education majors and non-majors. Ruffer studied personality traits of undergraduate physical education students using the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire. Widdop and Widdop compared the personality traits of female teacher education students and physical education students. Rider studied the personality traits of physical education teachers and majors. In sociology, the concept of socialization lends credence to the idea that socio-demographic characteristics and influences will affect behavior. Socialization theory and research also support the significance of these influences on behavior. Consequently, there appears to be a need for studies that center not on personality description, but on those things suggested by socialization theory and research, namely past experiences, influences, and decisions that could contribute to one's personality and future decisions. The subjects of this study were South Dakota State University (SDSU) undergraduate physical education majors (N=l68) enrolled during the Spring semester, 1981. Variables to be examined are students' interests, background, accomplishments, educational plans, goals, activities, and American College Testing (ACT) academic scores. This data was collected by using ACT academic tests and the ACT Interest Inventory and Student Profile Section. Other socio-demographic variables were described through a locally developed questionnaire. Variables included personal characteristics, characteristics of socialization settings, the influence of socialization agents, factors affecting educational and career choices, and past sport and sport related activities.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

South Dakota State University -- Students
Physical education and training -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University