physical activity, caring, college experience, college students


College can be a very impressionable time for a student, both positively and negatively. One way the college experience can be positive is the interactions the student has with their professors/instructors (hereafter the term instructor will be used). One behavior the instructors can exhibit including in physical activity (PA) classes is being caring or showing caring behaviors toward students. The purpose of this study was to investigate college students’ perceptions of the impact of PA instructor caring behaviors toward the student. For this study 69 college students (45 males and 24 females) were surveyed with one open-ended survey question. It was generally found from the college students that when their PA instructor knew their names, gave feedback, made the students feel comfortable in class and talked with the students, that the students felt their PA instructors cared for them. The results from this study can also be applied to other instructors in other content areas. Bottom line: college students respond better when their instructor exhibits caring behaviors.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date





David O. McKay School of Education


Teacher Education

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor