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Jessica Prebor, Brittany Samulski, Cortney Armitano-Lago, and Steven Morrison

It is widely accepted that the general process of aging can be reflected by changes in motor function. Typically, optimal performance of a given motor task is observed for healthy young adults with declines being observed for individuals at either end of the lifespan. This study was designed to examine differences in the average and variability (i.e., intraindividual variability) of chewing, simple reaction time, postural control, and walking responses. For this study, 15 healthy children, 15 young adults, and 15 older adults participated. Our results indicated the movement performance for the reaction time and postural sway followed a U shape with young adults having faster reaction times and decreased postural sway compared to the children and older adults. However, this pattern was not preserved across all motor tasks with no age differences emerging for (normalized) gait speed, while chewing rates followed a U-shaped curve with older adults and children chewing at faster rates. Taken together, these findings would indicate that the descriptive changes in motor function with aging are heavily influenced by the nature of the task being performed and are unlikely to follow a singular pattern.

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Jing Wen Pan, Pui Wah Kong, and John Komar

This study aimed to investigate individual trial-to-trial performance in three tests to define adaptive regulation as a key feature of expertise in nine-ball. Thirty-one male players were assigned into the low-skilled (n = 11), intermediate (n = 10), or high-skilled groups (n = 10). The power control, cue alignment, and angle tests were selected to assess participants’ ability to control the power applied in shots, strike the ball straight, and understand the ball paths, respectively. Error distance and correction of error distance were identified for each shot using 2D video analysis. Results of one-way analysis of variance showed that the high-skilled group performed better in two out of the three tests than the other two groups (p = .010 for the cue alignment test; p = .002 for the angle test). However, the adaptation effect represented by the decreased error distances across trials was not observed. Pearson correlation revealed only a few significant correlations between the error distance and its correction within each participant in all tests (p < .05), and hence, the hypothesis that “low correction happened after small error and vice versa” is not supported.

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Toshiaki Soga, Hiromi Saito, Kei Akiyama, and Norikazu Hirose

This crossover trial aimed to investigate whether additional loading of unilateral Nordic hamstring exercise on a sloped platform would increase the biceps femoris long head electromyographic activity. Participants were randomly allocated to unilateral Nordic hamstring exercise under three conditions: bodyweight only (BW) or BW with an added weighted ball of 3 kg (BW + 3 kg) or 6 kg (BW + 6 kg), respectively. The biceps femoris long head electromyographic activity was significantly higher for BW + 6 kg (p < .001) than for BW and BW + 3 kg (p < .01). Therefore, adding a load to unilateral Nordic hamstring exercise on a sloped platform might be effective for rehabilitation and prevention of hamstring strain injury recurrence.

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Taylor B. Chandler, Matthew J. Rivera, Elizabeth R. Neil, and Lindsey E. Eberman

Screening for behavioral health (BH) concerns is important for early identification, referral, and management. The purpose of this study was to examine collegiate athletic trainers use of BH screening tools. We used a cross-sectional design with a web-based survey. Approximately 49% (n = 198/405) of participants used BH screening tools in their practice; the most used tools were PHQ-9 (n = 112/198, 56.6%) and GAD-7 (n = 54/198, 27.3%). Practice integration considerations and practice advancements occurred as a result of BH screening. Given rising incidence and severity of BH conditions in collegiate athletics, more training on screening and prevention is needed.

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Larry R. Munger, Jean-Michel Brismée, Phillip S. Sizer, and C. Roger James

This study investigated whether the directional balance and reach with and without rotation is a reliable screening tool to measure dynamic balance and ability to control motion in three planes. Twenty healthy, collegiate athletes participated. The directional balance and reach exhibited good to excellent levels of intra- and interrater reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = .77–.99). The directional balance and reach provides clinicians with a reliable method that requires minimum financial, spatial, and temporal costs to administer in small and large screening, training, and evaluation programs to recognize asymmetries and deficits in assessing dynamic balance in all three planes of motion.

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Alyssa N. Olivas, Emily A. Chavez, and Jeffrey D. Eggleston

Weighted vests have been used primarily as behavioral interventions for children and adolescents with autism. Contemporary research has begun to examine weighted vest effects on movement. Previous research in children with neurotypical development revealed 15% body mass loads modified spatial-temporal gait characteristics; however, a value applicable to children and adolescents with autism has not been established. The purpose of this study was to establish an appropriate mass value by examining spatial-temporal gait parameters in children and adolescents with autism with various loads in a weighted vest. Nine children and adolescents with autism, aged 8–17, walked without a weighted vest, with 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% body mass while spatial-temporal data were captured. Repeated-measures analysis of variance (α = .05) were conducted among conditions for each variable, with a Holm–Bonferroni method correction. Analysis revealed significant decreases in right step length, but no differences in stride width, left step length, double-limb support time, or stride velocity were observed. Due to insignificant findings, an appropriate mass value could not be determined for weighted vests for children with autism. However, unchanged spatial-temporal gait parameters with increasing loads could be clinically relevant as weighted vest loads of 10% are typically used for behavioral interventions.