Perceived Workplace Experiences of Adapted Physical Educators and Physical Educators

Wesley J. Wilson, K. Andrew R. Richards, Justin A. Haegele, Steven K. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the workplace experiences of physical education and adapted physical education teachers while also considering biological sex. Role socialization theory was used as a guiding lens. Method: Participants included 653 teachers (women = 382) who taught physical education (n = 420) or adapted physical education (n = 233). Five instruments were used to examine workplace experiences regarding: (a) marginalization and isolation, (b) two elements of perceived mattering, (c) three role stressors, (d) resilience, and (e) emotional exhaustion. Group comparisons were analyzed using a 2 × 2 (discipline x biological sex) factorial MANCOVA while including years of teaching experience as a covariate. Results: No significant interaction effect between teacher group and biological sex was detected; however, there were significant main effects of teacher group, F(9,640) = 19.49, p < .001; Wilk’s Λ = .79, partial-η2 = .22, and of biological sex, F(9,640) = 2.81, p < .01; Wilk’s Λ = .96, partial-η2 = .04, on the dependent variables. Significant follow-up univariate tests showed that the adapted physical education teachers perceived less marginalization, less isolation, more perceived mattering, and less emotional exhaustion than the physical education teachers. Women from both groups felt significantly more role overload when compared to the men. Conclusion: Collectively, these findings both relate to and extend role socialization theory in explaining how adapted physical education teachers are socialized through the workplace in comparison to their physical education counterparts. Practical implications for preservice and inservice teacher preparation and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)618-629
Number of pages12
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Teacher socialization
  • marginalization
  • role socialization theory
  • teacher stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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