#7 - Martha Koenig, “Coordination is Not Related to a Parents’ Perception of Ability or Support for Physical Activity.”
Dr. Mary Stenson, Exercise Science & Sport Studies
What inspired you to select your research or creative work topic?
I am very interested in child and family health, so from the beginning I knew that was the demographic I wanted to research. I did an extensive literature review which revealed that early exposure to physical activity is important to the long term development of healthy exercise habits. My eventual topic allowed me to combine my interests of Exercise Science and Psychology in a meaningful way which could lead to important insights in child health which can benefit them for years to come.
Which of CSB/SJU's learning goals applies to your experience conducting research?
The Institutional Learning Goal of Thinking Deeply is something that I think that I truly engaged in, especially as I was analyzing data. When Dr. Stenson and I were in her office looking at our data, we were first just looking at data from the surveys and the test of Gross Motor Development. As we were looking this over, I thought to examine gender of the child as a variable. In doing so, we found our most fascinating piece of data; parents were under perceiving the athletic ability of their daughters compared to sons. This experience re-affirmed to me that when doing research with any demographic, considering intersectional qualities such as gender or race are incredibly important. Without examining these things, the generalized findings being presented would not be valid. As I go forward in a career in health research, I will always remember this important finding!
What advice would you give to future CSB/SJU students that want to participate in undergraduate research or creative work?
My advice would be that you do not only have to do research with just college students. Many students assume that this is their only option, but we have incredible staff which can make a plethora of opportunities available to you for your undergraduate research. Don't limit yourself before you've explored the possibilities!