Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology (PhD)

Degree Level



Health, Human Performance and Recreation


Dean Gorman

Committee Member

Cathy Lirgg

Second Committee Member

Sharon Hunt

Third Committee Member

Jack Kern

Fourth Committee Member

Peggy Schaefer-Whitby


Activities Preferences, Attitudes, Physical Education, School Levels, Students with Disabilities, Usefulness and Enjoyment


Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest countries in the Middle East, and it has paid particular attention to public education to prepare students to become good citizens. Physical education (PE) can have a vital influence on all children and adolescents’ lifestyles, including those with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to examine attitudes of Saudi Arabian students with and without disabilities toward PE as well as their sport and activities preferences. A second purpose was to investigate the effect of school levels and student participation in physical activity after school on students’ attitudes in PE. A final purpose was to determine predictors of enjoyment and perceived usefulness of PE. Participants were 11-19-year-old elementary, middle, and high school students from the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. Participants included 195 students without disabilities and 205 with disabilities. Students were queried as to personal information, their student activities and sports preferences, and also completed the Student Attitudes Toward Physical Education Survey. The results of this study indicated that the overall mean score of attitudes of all participants toward PE was 3.48 on a scale of 1-5, indicting a moderate positive attitude toward PE. In general, students without disabilities had more positive attitudes toward physical education than students with disabilities. In addition, high school students without disabilities had less favorable attitudes toward PE than middle or elementary school students. Moreover, attitudes of high school students with disabilities toward PE showed less positive attitudes toward PE than middle and elementary school students with disabilities. However, there was no significant difference between elementary school students with disabilities and middle school students with disabilities in attitudes toward PE. Also, students who participated in physical activity outside school showed more positive attitudes toward PE than students who did not participate in physical activity outside school. Lastly, for students with disabilities, individual sport, competitive activities, cooperative activities, and aquatic activities were significant predictors of attitudes toward enjoyment of PE. For those without disabilities, cooperative activities, team sports, and fitness activities were significant predictors of attitudes toward enjoyment of PE.