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Lauren Q. Higgins, Jeffrey D. Labban, Ruth D. Stout, Jeffrey T. Fairbrother, Christopher K. Rhea, and Louisa D. Raisbeck

Adults (N = 54, 80.78 ± 6.08 years) who reported falling during the previous 12 months participated in a 12-week wobble board training program with internal focus or external focus (EF) instructions. Verbal manipulation checks were performed after training sessions as a self-report of the attentional foci used. The percentage of sessions in which participants reported using an EF (EFSR) was subsequently calculated. Mean velocity and mean power frequency in the anterior–posterior (MVELOAP and MPFAP) and medial–lateral (MVELOML and MPFML) direction were assessed during a 35-s wobble board task at Weeks 0, 6, 12, 13, 16, and 20, with the latter three as retention tests. Piecewise linear growth models estimated treatment effects on individual growth trajectories of MVELOAP and ML and MPFAP and ML during intervention and retention periods. Regardless of condition, MVELOML significantly decreased (π = −.0019, p = .005) and MPFML increased (π = .025, p < .02) during the intervention period. In analyses including interaction terms, participants in the EF group who reported greater EFSR had superior progression of MPFAP during the intervention (π = .0013, p = .025). Verbal manipulation checks suggest a preference for and advantage of EF for facilitating postural control performance and automaticity.

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Dong Ha Kim, Heewon Kang, and Seunghyun Yoo

Walking promotes active aging; however, walking prevalence changes among older adults by age and environmental conditions remain unclear. Age-period-cohort (APC) differences in walking trends among Korean older adults were examined. Data included adults aged ≥ 65 years (n = 592,235) from the nationally representative Korean Community Health Survey. Regional units examined were metropolitan cities, small- and medium-sized cities, and rural areas. Environment-stratified APC modeling was applied for walking prevalence (walking days/time during the past week). From 2008 to 2017, the walking prevalence gap between regional units widened. Decreasing trends were most apparent in rural areas, including by birth year. In all areas, walking decreased with increased age. No distinct period effects were found. Each effect’s magnitude was larger in rural areas than cities. Differential APC effects by environmental conditions likely influence walking prevalence changes among older adults. Walking promotion for older adults should consider APC effects and environmental conditions.

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Pankaja Desai, Shannon Halloway, Klodian Dhana, Yanyu Zhang, Thomas Holland, Puja Agarwal, Christopher N. Ford, Carlos Mendes de Leon, Denis A. Evans, and Martha C. Morris

This study examined the relationship between walking and cognitive function among Chicago Health and Aging Project participants. Data collection occurred during six 3-year cycles, of which Cycles 4–6 were used for this specific analysis. Information was obtained regarding walking frequency and duration, demographics, chronic conditions, cognitive activities, apolipoprotein E4, physical function, and cognitive function (global and domains). A composite walking measure was developed and categorized as follows: no walking, ≤105 min/week, and >105 min/week. Mixed-effects regression analyses tested associations between walking and global cognitive function, episodic memory, and perceptual speed. The sample consisted of 4,320 participants (African American/Black: 65%; female: 65%; mean education: 13 years; mean age: 75 years). Composite or total walking had a statistically significant association with global cognitive function and perceptual speed, after adjustments were made.

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David P. Schary and Carolina Lundqvist

In reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictive policies altered student-athletes’ academic and athletic life. Sparse research has investigated the pandemic’s effect on student-athlete mental health in terms of both negative (e.g., depression, anxiety) and positive (e.g., well-being, quality of life) dimensions. This study explored the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on well-being and quality of life among National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I student-athletes at different stages of their collegiate career. Ninety-nine student-athletes (M age = 19.7 years, SD = 1.5) completed assessments on their mental health. Regression analysis revealed experiences directly related to COVID-19 did not affect general well-being or quality of life, but anxiety, depression, and significant insomnia did. Social well-being was lower for student-athletes closer to graduation (e.g., juniors, seniors), independent of reported anxiety and depression levels. These findings highlight the importance of psychosocial support, particularly in times of crisis, and indicate that tailored support might be beneficial at later stages of the collegiate years.

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Mary D. Fry, Candace M. Hogue, Susumu Iwasaki, and Gloria B. Solomon

Psychological coping skills in sport are believed to be central to athlete performance and well-being. This study examined the relationship between the perceived motivational climate in elite collegiate sport teams and player psychological coping skills use. Division I athletes (N = 467) completed a questionnaire examining their perceptions of how caring, task-, and ego-involving their teams were and their use of sport specific psychological coping skills (i.e., coping with adversity, peaking under pressure, goal setting/mental preparation, concentration, freedom from worry, confidence/achievement motivation, and coachability). Structural equation modeling revealed positive relationships between perceptions of a task-involving climate and confidence/achievement motivation (β = 0.42) and goal setting/mental preparation (β = 0.27). Caring climate perceptions were positively associated with coachability (β = 0.34). These findings illustrate how encouraging athletes and coaches to create a caring, task-involving climate may facilitate athletes’ use of psychological coping skills and set athletes up to perform their best and have a positive sporting experience.

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Yonglin Liang, Francisco T.T. Lai, Joyce L.Y. Kwan, Wai Chan, and Eng-Kiong Yeoh

Multimorbidity is associated with increased depression risks. Little research examines how physical exercise moderates this association. From an existing cohort of community-dwelling older adults in Hong Kong recruited in 2001–2003, the authors included participants who were successfully interviewed after 14 years (2015–2017). Geriatric depressive symptoms were used as the primary outcome and measured by the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale, while multimorbidity was operationalized using a list of 19 conditions. Subscores of the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly measuring light, moderate, and strenuous sport/recreational activities were included as moderators. In total, 1,056 participants were included, of whom 50.7% were multimorbid. Multimorbidity was associated with 12% more geriatric depressive symptoms, but strenuous physical activities were associated with a smaller risk elevation only among multimorbid patients (adjusted relative risk = 0.99, 95% confidence interval [0.98, 0.99]; p = .001). In conclusion, strenuous sport and recreational activities may attenuate the association between multimorbidity and geriatric depressive symptoms.

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Eleni Diakogeorgiou, R. Richard Ray Jr., Sara Brown, Jay Hertel, and Douglas J. Casa

Athletic training is a health care profession with roots in athletics and kinesiology that has evolved into a critical component of contemporary sports medicine. The aim of this article is to review the history and evolution of the athletic training profession, contextualize the current state of athletic training education and research, and address priorities and challenges that the athletic training profession must confront if it is to continue to thrive. Specific challenges include addressing health disparities in sports medicine, increasing the diversity of the athletic training profession, clearly delineating athletic training’s place in the health care arena, and increasing salaries and retention of athletic trainers in the profession.

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Ekin Ilke Sen, Sibel Eyigor, Merve Dikici Yagli, Zeynep Alev Ozcete, Tugba Aydin, Fatma Nur Kesiktas, Filiz Yildiz Aydin, Meltem Vural, Nilay Sahin, and Ayse Karan

In the prospective, randomized, controlled multicenter study, 100 patients who were clinically diagnosed with sarcopenia were assigned to either a home-based exercise group or a control group. The home-based training program included exercises with gradually increasing intensity comprising posture, stretching and upper- and lower-extremity muscle-strengthening exercises, balance and coordination exercises, and gait training. Before and 3 months after the exercise program, all the patients were evaluated. The 6-min walking test and Berg Balance Scale scores increased significantly after 3 months in the home-based exercise group compared with the controls. There was also a significant decrease in timed up and go test scores and a significant improvement in quality of life in the exercise group compared with the control group. Our findings indicated that a home-based exercise program can have a positive effect on physical function, balance, and quality of life in patients with sarcopenia.

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Toby Staff, Fernand Gobet, and Andrew Parton

The aim of this study was to compare two methodologies employed by the British Cycling talent identification program. Specifically, the authors investigated cyclists selected to represent GB cycling team at the London 2012 Olympics using (a) a traditional talent identification methodology (British Cycling Olympic Development Program), where selection is based upon race results and (b) a detection talent identification methodology (U.K. Sport Talent Team Program), which is a multi-Olympic event initiative that identifies athletic potential from physical and skill-based tests. To facilitate this comparison, the authors calculated the speed with which expertise was acquired. A Mann–Whitney U test (U = 16.0, p = .031) indicated that the speed of acquiring expertise was quicker in detection talent identification (Mdn = 5.4) than traditional talent identification (Mdn = 7.2). Practice started later with detection talent identification than with traditional talent identification (14.12 years vs. 11.23 years, respectively), which affected the period to excellence. Thus, detection talent identification resulted in an absence of early specialization, which suggests a critical period for attaining cycling expertise. The authors hypothesize a genetic basis of talent and propose that critical periods are important in detection talent identification programs.

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Razieh Raeisiyan, Behrouz Abdoli, Alireza Farsi, and Hamidollah Hassanlouei

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of landmarks on learning basketball lay-up in beginners. Twenty-seven females (age = 20.30 ± 0.24 years, height = 164.37 ± 0.53 cm) participated in this study. They were assigned to three groups: no landmark group, colored landmark group, and black and white landmark group. All participants performed basketball lay-up for six sessions. The colored group and black and white group trained with the landmarks on the ground while the no landmark group trained without any landmarks based on a trainer instruction. Posttest was performed at the end of the last session of training and also in the retention test following 72 hr. All trials were assessed through 5-point Likert scales, ranging from 1 (very poor) to 5 (very good). The results showed that using landmarks significantly changed the lay-up pattern; however, these changes were not significant for color and lay-up shot accuracy.