The effect of model similarity on girls' motor performance

Karen Meaney, Luther Griffin, Melanie Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This investigation examined the effect of model similarity on girls' acquisition, retention, transfer, and transfer strategies of a novel motor task. Forty girls (mean age = 10 years) were randomly assigned to conditions in a 2 (model skill level) × 2 (model sex) factorial design using four treatment groups: (a) male skilled, (b) male learning, (c) female skilled, and (d) female learning. Quantitative data were collected throughout all phases of the investigation. ANOVA results for transfer strategies revealed a significant main effect for model skill level and model sex. Participants observing a female model or a learning model transferred significantly more learning strategies than did participants observing a male or skilled model. After quantitative data collection, qualitative data were obtained via structured interviews and assessed through content analysis. Results from the interview analyses underscored the need to include models of similar sex, as well as learning models, when instructing girls in motor skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-178
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Teaching in Physical Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Observational learning
  • Physical education instruction
  • Teaching strategies


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