The Examination of Research-Related Anxiety of Students Taking Master and Doctorate Degree in the Field of Physical Education and Sports

Authors: Ender SENEL (1), Mevlut YILDIZ (1), Mehmet ULAs (2), Hasan SAHAN
(1) Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Faculty of Sports Sciences, Turkey.
(2) Mehmet Akif Ersoy University, School of Physical Education and Sport, Turkey.
(3) Akdeniz University, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Turkey.

Corresponding Author:
Ender SENEL
Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Faculty of Sports Sciences
Kotekli/Mugla, 48000
endersenel@gmail.com
002522111951

(1) Ender SENEL is a research assistant in Physical Education and Sport Teacher Education Department at the Mugla Sitki Kocman University studying teaching and learning approaches in physical education and sport.

The Examination of Research-Related Anxiety of Students Taking Master and Doctorate Degree in the Field of Physical Education and Sports

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to examine research-related anxiety of students taking master and doctorate degree in the field of physical education and sports. 204 master and doctorate students in the field of physical education and sports participated in the study. 49% of participants were female and 51% were male. While 51.5% of the students were carrying on master program, 48.5% were taking doctorate. Anxiety Related to Research Scale, developed by Buyukozturk (1997) was used to collect data. Independent t-test, pearson correlation and one-way ANOVA in SPSS was used to analyze collected data. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to find out if the scale was fit to use in this sample. Statistically significant difference was found between female and male students, graduate programs, master and doctorate students in terms of research-related anxiety. Consequently, it can be said that research-related anxiety levels of students taking master and doctorate degrees in the field of physical education and sport were not too high. It is required that students graduated from faculties of sport sciences and schools of physical education and sport that educate teachers, coaches, managers and recreation specialist should have scientific contribution on physical education and sport. Accordingly, precautions should be taken to reduce research-related anxiety of physical education and sport students.

Keywords: Research-related anxiety, Physical education, Sports, Graduate study.

INTRODUCTION
The period of postgraduate education is an important process in which scientific knowledge is produced. It is possible to say that postgraduate education process is a period when individuals take an eager interest in academic studies in comparison with the other parts of their educational lives. Individuals participating academic studies both contribute their careers and have a part in producing scientific knowledge. Having this role provide an opportunity to create research culture Buyukozturk (1997) has suggested that research culture is one of the key features of contemporary society while it comprises the behavioral objectives of education (8). Karasar (1991) has sorted the core knowledge of research culture as research, statistics, assessment-evaluation and computer (15). Mentioning the importance of doctoral education to create a research culture, Ersoy (2015) has asserted that including students in research projects and applying the knowledge acquired during doctoral education can create research culture (13). However, some researchers have emphasized that the education to create a research culture should be given as early as possible (15, 23, and 26).

In addition to all these, Buyukozturk (1997) has suggested that upskilling the researching ability can only be a precondition to do research, emphasized that it is not enough alone, and asserted whether perceiving the research process a threat or not can be determinant. In the circumstances, research anxiety or attitudes towards doing research come into prominence (8). Akcoltekin (2014) has stated that research anxiety is an occurrence of anxiety divergently (2) while Higgins and Kotrlik (2006) have said that “refers to the characteristics which a faculty or member perceives as discomforting, to the extent that productivity may be reduced (15).” Bokeoglu-Cokluk and Yilmaz (2005) defined research anxiety as “behaviors such as feeling the boredom of the opinion of doing research, not doing research unless obliged, feeling anxious while doing research, lack of confidence about doing research (6).”

There are studies examining research anxiety in different field and levels in literature (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30), however there is lack of study into research-anxiety in the field of physical education and sport. From this aspect, this study has an importance for the contribution to literature.

This study have sought an answer for the question of “are there any differences between genders, educational levels (doctorate-master), the graduated departments in terms of research anxiety levels of the students taking master and doctorate degree in the field of physical education and sport.” The purpose of this study was to examine research-related anxiety of students taking master and doctorate degree in the field of physical education and sports.

Hypothesis

  1. There is significant difference between students taking master and doctorate program in the field of physical education and sport in terms of research-related anxiety.
  2. There is no significant difference between students graduated from different departments in the field of physical education and sport in terms of research-related anxiety.
  3. There is age effect on research-related anxiety.
  4. Being in the thesis term or course period does not change the level of research anxiety.

Assumption

  • It was assumed that participant responded the scale objectively.

Limitations

  • This study is limited with the strength of the scale developed by Buyukozturk (1997).
  • This study is limited with the participation of students taking master and doctorate degree in the field of physical education and sport.

METHODS
Research Model
Descriptive survey model has been adopted in this study. Descriptive survey model is a research approach aiming to determine a condition existing in the past or present (16).

Population and Sample
In statistics given by Turkish Council of Higher Education, there are 999 postgraduate students in the field of physical education and sport (731 male and 268 female, 858 master and 141 doctorate). 204 master and doctorate students in the field of physical education and sports participated in the study. Sample of this study is approximately 20% of the population. 49% of participants were female (n=100) and 51% were male (n=104). While 51.5% of the students were carrying on master program (n=105), 48.5% were taking doctorate degree (n=99). Participants graduated from the departments of coaching education (n=49, 24%), physical education and sport teacher education (n=87, 42.6%), recreation (n=31, 15.2%), and sport management (n=37, 18.1%). Participants reported that they are in course term (n=73, 35.8%), thesis term (n=131, 64.2%). The age mean of participants was found to be 27.28±2.73. 30% of female participants graduated from coaching education (n=30), 32% from physical education and sport teacher education (n=32), 22% from recreation (n=22), and 16% from sport management (n=16). 18.3% of male participants graduated from coaching education (n=19), 52.9% from physical education and sport teacher education (n=55), 8.7% from recreation (n=9), and 20.2% from sport management (n=21). While 49% of the female participants taking master degree and 51% taking doctorate degree, %53.8 of male participants taking master degree (n=56) and 46.2% taking doctorate degree (n=48).

Data Collection Tool
Anxiety Related to Research Scale, developed by Buyukozturk (1997) was used to collect data (8). The scale is likert-type and quintile rated (1=strongly disagree, 5=strongly agree). The analysis showed that the scale is one-dimensional consisting of 12 items. Internal consistency score was found to be 0.87 (8).

In this study, internal consistency score was found to be 0.91. Skewness and Kurtosis values were found to be .483 and -.473, respectively. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was used to find out whether the scale had good fit indices for the study sample. The analysis confirmed the scale had one dimension, and the fit indices were displayed in table 1.

Table 1. Fit indices of the scale
Table 1

Modification indices checked after calculating estimates and high error covariances connected related pairs. The fit indices revealed that the scale had perfect fit.

Data Collection
In 2015 – 2016 fall semester, Anxiety Related to Research scale was prepared in electronic environment and sent to 320 students taking master and doctorate degree in the field of physical education and sport. 204 of them responded back. Before sending the scale, students were asked to participate the study voluntarily. Information about the scale was given the students who wanted to participate the study. The title of the scale was not given to participants.

Data Analysis
Collected data was saved in SPSS 22.0 program. Independent t test were used to analyze the differences between genders, educational levels and terms. One-way ANOVA was used to analyze the differences between the departments students graduated. Pearson Correlation test was used to analyze the relationship between age and research-related anxiety. CFA was used to analyze the fit level of the scale in this sample. Cronbach’s alpha value was used for internal consistency.

RESULTS
Table 2. Gender differences in terms of research-related anxiety
Table 2

Difference between genders in terms of research related anxiety has been displayed in table 1. According to analysis, significant difference has been found between female and male students with regards to research-related anxiety (p<0.05, t=3.442). Female students have reported higher scores than males. Table 3. Differences between students according to graduated departments in terms of research-related anxiety Table 3

Differences between students according to graduated departments have been displayed in table 2. Students graduated from recreation department have reported higher scores than those graduated from sport management (p<0.05, F=2.92). No significant differences have been found between students graduated from other departments. Table 4. Differences between students according to their term in terms of research-related anxiety Table 4

No significant difference has been found between students in thesis and course terms (p>0.05, t=.612).

Table 5. Difference between master students and doctorate students in terms of research-related anxiety
Table 5

Difference between master and doctorate students in terms of research-related anxiety has been displayed in table 4. No significant difference has been found between master and doctorate students in terms of research-related anxiety (p>0.05, t=-.635).

Table 6. Correlation between age and research-related anxiety and regression analysis
Table 6

Correlation between age and research-related anxiety has been displayed in table 5. No significant relationship has been found between age and research-related anxiety (p>0.05, r=.018).

DISCUSSION
The purpose of this study has been set as examining the research-related anxiety of students taking master and doctorate degree in the field of physical education and sport. According to analysis, it can be interpreted that research-related anxiety of postgraduate students participated in the study is not very high and female students reported higher anxiety than males (table 1). Yilmaz and Cokluk (2010) found no significant difference between female (X ̅±σ=39.73±9.74) and male (X ̅±σ=41.88±9.75) students graduated from faculty of art and science (30). Buyukozturk (1999a) found no significant relationship between gender and research-related anxiety (r=0.008, p>0.05) (10). Çelik et al. (2014) reported that no significant difference was found between male (X ̅±σ=38.81±10.88) and female (X ̅±σ=37.33±6.38) nursing students in terms of research-related anxiety (11). Bökeoglu-Cokluk and Yilmaz (2005) found no significant difference between female (X ̅±σ=42.12±7.79) and male (X ̅±σ=42.33±8.31) university students in terms of research-related anxiety (6). Saracaloglu (2008) examined the research-related anxiety levels of postgraduate students studying in institutions of education sciences, social science and institution of science and found no significant difference between female (X ̅±σ=26.92±11.16) and male (X ̅±σ=26.55±11.10) students (26). Also Trimarco (1997) found no significant difference between genders in terms of research-related anxiety (29). In literature, there are studies suggesting that anxiety varies by age, culture, gender and race (12, 20).

The analysis to find out whether research-related anxiety varied according to the graduated department showed that there has been significant difference only between students graduated from recreation and sport management, however the mean difference between these students can be interpreted as not very high. Yilmaz and Cokluk (2010) examined research-related anxiety levels of students in faculty of art and science and revealed that research-related anxiety level displayed no significant differences in terms of gender, age, university, undergraduate program, the status of taking statistics course and writing up a undergraduate thesis or project (30). In our study, no significant difference has been found between master and doctorate students (table 2) and between students in course and thesis term (table 3). With these results, it can be interpreted that master and doctorate students feel anxiety in close proximity, and research-related anxiety does not vary by term. Besides, while Saracaloglu, Varol and Ercan (2005) reported that master students had higher scores than doctorate students (27), Saracaloglu (2008) found that research-related anxiety did not vary by the statuses of taking master and doctorate degree (26). Tekin (2007) suggested that master students had high level of research-related anxiety and research competency decreased as the research-related anxiety increases (28). It can be said that different situations in taking master and doctorate degree in terms of research-related anxiety have stem from the study fields of participants. Although most of the studies conducted with participation of master students, it can be argued that different fields are the reason.

Buyukozturk (1999a) has suggested that being experienced in doing research is an important factor to predict the research-related anxiety level of students (10); however, Boke-Cokluk and Yilmaz (2005) have stated that research-related anxiety of students does not vary according to having experiences about research (6).

CONCLUSION
No significant difference has been found between master and doctorate students in terms of research-related anxiety, thus hypothesis 1 has been rejected. Students graduated from recreation department have reported higher scores than those graduated from sport management, with this result, hypothesis 2 has been rejected. In the study, it was found that age has no effect on research- related anxiety, and hypothesis 3 has been rejected. No significant difference has been found between master and doctorate students in terms of research-related anxiety. Hypothesis 4 has been rejected.

Consequently, it can be said that students taking master and doctorate degree have displayed low level of research-related anxiety (X ̅±σ=25.21±9.83). Students graduated from schools of physical education and sport and faculties of sport sciences educating teacher, coach, sport manager, and recreation expert should carry on postgraduate education to produce scientific knowledge in their field. Buyukozturk (1999b) emphasized that creating research culture is an important factor to educate researcher-teacher (9). We can conclude that postgraduate students should be open to producing scientific knowledge, doing research and development. Accordingly, students should be led to research activities to give them the opportunity to have experience; this will result in decrement in research-related anxiety. In universities, precaution should be taken to develop and consolidate research culture, reduce research-related anxiety and create comfortable environment for postgraduate students.

RECOMMENDATION

  • Postgraduate students from different fields can be included in future research and their research attitude can be compared with students in the field of physical education.
  • The sample group can be extended.

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