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Personality and personality change in the male physical education student


The personality and personality development of the male physical education student was investigated through a series of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Attention was focused on five basic questions. Firstly, does a male physical educationist personality type exist at the time students enter college? Secondly, is there a personality type among senior physical education men? Thirdly, do personality differences between physical education men (PEM) and non-physical education men (NPEM) develop or become accentuated as a result of their three year course of professional education and training? Fourthly, does a physical education subculture exist? Finally, what effect, if any, does a possible physical education subculture have on the personal development of physical education students.
At the time of entry to college, it was found that a freshmen physical educationist personality type does exist. In comparison with NPEM, PEM were less concerned to analyze their own or others' motives or to treat others with kindness or sympathy. PEM were more conservative and toughminded, and more convergent in their thinking but no differences were apparent in terms of general intelligence. A senior physical educationist personality type was also evident. SPEM were more conservative, happy-go-lucky, toughminded, tense and frustrated, emotionally cautious and conscientious compared with SPEM. SNPEM revealed a somewhat authoritarian personality and a disposition toward intrapsychic conflict. The temperamental and motivational character­istics of PEM and NPEM did not change significantly in an absolute manner over a period of two and a half years in college, but tendencies towards change in one group relative to the other were evident.
A physical education subculture was found to exist. PEM differentially selected themselves for entry to college and for teacher training. Although considerable commonality prevailed between PEM and NPEM in terms of educational and professional goals, certain goals cifferentiated between them. These differential goals were associated with sports activities. PEM largely interacted with students and staff from their own specialist department in their free time rather than with general course students or staff. Given that PEM revealed differential tendencies towards relative personality change in comparison with NPEM, at least a prima facie case existed for the impact of this subculture on the physical education student.

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