Honors College Thesis


Girls on the Run: A Program Evaluation Public Deposited

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  • In an increasing sedentary society, it is becoming even more important to encourage adolescent girls to participate and value physical activity. This document provides a study grounded in scholarly research exploring issues of importance to the promotion and implementation of programs relevant to motivating girls to be physically active, specifically with respect to the Girls on the Run® program. In-depth interviews with parents and coaches provide insight into parental values and perceptions of the program pertinent to achieving success. Three coaches and five parents were interviewed in this study, and participants were purposefully selected based on their association with Girls on the Run Willamette Valley®. Consistent themes emerged from the interviews. Specifically, strengths of the program include the ability of the program to promote selfreferenced achievement and self-competence without being competitive. Parents also appreciated discussions conducted within the running groups and valued additional support of female role models. Concerns were expressed regarding the organization of the program as well as the program’s ability to measure stated objectives. Rapport between coaches and parents appeared to be a major influence in parents’ perceptions of the program; high levels of rapport coincided with a high value of the program. Increasing parental value can potentially increase the number of girls enrolled in the program, which can effectively increase the number of girls encouraged to value physical activity and to be physically
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