Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Kinesiology and Health

First Advisor

Michael W. Metzler

Second Advisor

Jacalyn Lund

Third Advisor

Rebecca Ellis

Fourth Advisor

Shannon Barrett-Williams


The comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP) has been identified as an effective strategy for increasing opportunities for physical activity (PA; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2013). The goal of a CSPAP is to provide a variety of school-based PA opportunities that enable students to meet the daily recommendation of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous PA (NASPE, 2008; SHAPE America, 2015a). Although recent research has provided preliminary insight into the implementation of CSPAP components, it is still unclear how much of the CSPAP is being implemented in schools and the extent to which CSPAP contributes to student PA outcomes (Hunt & Metzler, 2017).

Guided by three theoretical frameworks: (a) the CSPAP model (CDC, 2013), (b) the social ecological model (Sallis, Owen, & Fisher, 2008) and (c) the diffusion of innovations theory (Rogers, 2003), the overarching purpose of this study was to provide additional insight into CSPAP adoption in P-12 schools within the United States and gain a better understanding of the factors inhibiting or facilitating the process. Physical education (PE) teachers (N = 72) from 28 states responded to an electronic survey assessing CSPAP adoption trends in relation to a myriad of contextual variables.

Many teachers reported successful implementation of the CSPAP components, but similar to a previous baseline CSPAP survey (AAHPERD, 2011), very few schools provided the full five component CSPAP. Effective CSPAP programming was most commonly reported to be facilitated (and inhibited) at the organizational (school) level. Relevant facilitators consisted of having sufficient resources, having support from administration and staff, as well as teaching in a positive climate and culture conducive to promoting PA programming. The most salient inhibitors consisted of a perceived lack of support, buy-in, and accountability from stakeholders at various levels, and insufficient resources to effectively run programming. Findings related to common facilitators and inhibitors can be used to inform teachers, as well as assist in training and professional development for CSPAP. The results of this exploratory study contribute additional empirical support for establishing CSPAP as a viable conceptual framework and provide a foundation for future related research endeavors.