The development of the School Play Area and Children’s Enjoyment Survey (SPACES) for exploring children’s enjoyment of school play
Hyndman, B, Telford, A, Benson, A, Ullah, S & Finch, C 2011, 'The development of the School Play Area and Children’s Enjoyment Survey (SPACES) for exploring children’s enjoyment of school play', paper presented to the International Society of Behavioral Nurtition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) 2011 Annual Meeting, Melbourne, Vic.,15-18 June.
Enjoyment of physical activity has been established as an important determinant of children’s physical activity participation. Despite this correlation, there is a gap in the literature of an acceptable measure for assessing enjoyment within the context of a school play environment. The purpose of this study was to develop and test the acceptability and reliability of the new scale “School Play Area and Children’s Enjoyment Survey (SPACES)”.
SPACES items were categorised employing a Social Ecological Model framework that included intrapersonal, physical environment and social components to identify the broader influences on children’s enjoyment of the school play environment. The SPACES was administered on two occasions, 10 days apart, to a sample of 176 children aged 8-12 years (99 males, 77 females), attending a regional government primary school in Australia. The test-retest reliability of survey items was determined using a weighted kappa.
Test-retest reliability of survey items suggested 35 of 39 SPACES items displayed at least moderate kappa agreement ranging from 0.44-0.78. Although four kappa values were low (range 0.25-0.40), kappa scores for each Social Ecological component averaged at least moderate agreement, ranging from 0.42- 0.75.
Evidence supports the SPACES survey as an acceptable and reliable instrument for assessing children’s enjoyment of school play. Given the need to identify areas of improvement within school play environments to facilitate children’s physical activity and to evaluate future school based physical activity interventions, the development of a reliable instrument to assess children’s enjoyment of school play is imperative.