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Physical Education, Health and Recreation

The department of Physical Education, Health and Recreation (PEHR) encourages both graduate and undergraduate student participation in joint student-faculty research projects. Many PEHR majors volunteer or earn academic credit as they conduct research of their own, or participate in research projects conducted by their faculty mentors. Students in multiple PEHR classes also conduct small research projects that often culminate in poster presentations to which students, faculty, and community members are invited to attend. Among the faculty-directed research projects conducted with student participation, topics in the three PEHR programs have included:
  • Kinesiology and Physical Education program: the effect of magnesium and creatine supplementation on physical performance and health attributes, inspiratory muscle training on health and physical performance, the effect of exercise on biomechanical and functional performance of older adults, the characteristics of the neuromuscular control in young and older adults, shoulder joint proprioception, the evaluation of exercise programs for young and older adults, and the psychosocial aspects of sport and physical activity. In the K-12 Physical Education and Health Program students have been participating in an on-going study to investigate the effectiveness of using digital voice recorders to improve teacher communication and dialogue in peer-teaching and school based practicum settings.
  • Community Health program: the impact of media influences on health decisions, health literacy among college students, cyber bullying among college students, and collaborative projects with the Critical Junctures Institute to conduct community needs assessments for Whatcom County.
  • Recreation Program: a ten-year follow-up study of wilderness therapy program participants, and on-going research and evaluation of wilderness and adventure therapy program impacts on participants and families, including a two-year study linking process and outcomes of a long term residential treatment program aimed at reducing substance abuse for young adults in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
At the graduate level, students in the Kinesiology program earn a master's degree. All graduate students in the program complete a thesis under the close supervision of faculty mentors. It is encouraged that all research conducted within PEHR, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level, be submitted for presentation and/or publication regionally, nationally, or internationally. These research dissemination opportunities provide opportunities for the work of PEHR students to be reviewed by experts within their respective fields.

College of Humanities & Social Sciences

May 4, 2011 Western Washington University