The effect of an internally directed teaching approach in aerobic dance on selected health variables
Kern, Deborah L.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of using an internally directed approach in teaching aerobics classes on the following variables: general self-esteem, physical self-esteem, and state-trait anxiety. General self-esteem was measured by Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale, and physical self-esteem was measured by Field and Steinhardt's Physical Self-Esteem Scale. State and trait anxiety were measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. A total of 68 female college students completed a pretest; next they received seven weeks of experimental or standard control treatment intervention; then they completed a posttest. The experimental treatment group received an internally directed teaching approach based on NIA (Neuromuscular Integrative Action) while the standard treatment control group received an externally directed teaching approach based on traditional aerobic dance instructional methods. An ANCOVA analysis of the data showed no significant difference between the groups on posttest general self-esteem, physical self-esteem, and state anxiety. However, there was a significant difference in posttest trait anxiety (p $<$.05). The treatment group receiving an internally directed approach scored significantly lower trait anxiety than the standard treatment control group which had received an externally directed approach. Qualitative analysis of focus groups supported the finding that members of the internally directed group had improved their anxiety coping skills as a result of the aerobics, whereas members of the externally directed group did not make any changes in anxiety coping skills. These findings suggest that aerobic dance programs may be more effective in positively impacting trait anxiety if they incorporate internally directed teaching approaches.