Previous research suggests that sport media provide one avenue for boys and girls to learn what and who is valued in sport. We explored girl and boy athletes’ perceptions of photographs of female college athletes, which provided insight into young athletes gendered perceptions of athletes and sport. Sixty-nine sportskids participated in focus group interviews where they discussed what they liked and disliked about a series of photographs of college female athletes. Framed by feminist cultural studies, the authors situated their analysis within the current historical moment bounded by young athletes’ post-Title IX and postfeminist sensibilities. The authors present their appraisals of a few exemplar images that characterize themes that appeared across the whole photo collection. Emergent themes included gendered sport terrain, which situates their comments within the gendered milieu of their sport experiences. Data also revealed themes associated with the select images: female athleticism, inspiration versus objectification, transgressing heteronormative femininity, and sporty cute. Overall, both girls and boys struggled with images that were interpreted as too feminine or too muscular/masculine. These data also point to how little has changed in the past 50 years regarding how female athletes are culturally constructed. While the borders of acceptability may have shifted, female athletes continue tenuous navigation of socially acceptable boundaries of athleticism, femininity, and muscularity while masculine privilege in sport continues and the presence of females in sport is framed by a heterosexual male gaze.
Katie Sullivan Barak, Chelsea A. Kaunert, Vikki Krane, and Sally R. Ross
Philip Sullivan and Laura Tennant
Intercollegiate student-athletes appear to be a high-risk population with respect to mental health. Student athletic therapists are one of the groups with whom these athletes may be comfortable disclosing concerns. The current study investigated the relationship between mental health literacy and mental health referral efficacy in a sample of intercollegiate student therapists. One hundred and eleven student athletic therapists (81 female, 29 male, 1 nondiscloure) competed a revised version of the multicomponent mental health literacy measure and a four-item measure of mental health referral efficacy. T tests revealed statistically significant differences in mental health literacy by gender and personal history, and a multiple linear regression revealed a significant model predicting referral efficacy from mental health literacy. There are several implications of these results, particularly when working with a high-risk population of student-athletes.
Andreas Kuettel, Natalie Durand-Bush, and Carsten H. Larsen
The purpose of this study was (a) to investigate gender differences in mental health among Danish youth soccer players, (b) to discover the mental health profiles of the players, and (c) to explore how career progression and mental health are related. A total of 239 Danish youth elite soccer players (M = 16.85, SD = 1.09) completed an online questionnaire assessing mental well-being, depression, anxiety, along with other background variables. Female players scored significantly lower on mental well-being and had four times higher odds of expressing symptoms of anxiety and depression than males. Athletes’ mental health profiles showed that most athletes experience low depression while having moderate mental well-being. Depression, anxiety, and stress scores generally increased when progressing in age, indicating that the junior–senior transition poses distinct challenges to players’ mental health, especially for female players. Different strategies to foster players’ mental health depending on their mental health profiles are proposed.
Eleftherios Paraskevopoulos, Georgios Gioftsos, Georgios Georgoudis, and Maria Papandreou
Adherence to exercise rehabilitation has been shown to be an important factor that may influence successful treatment. In professional athletes, a significant reduction in exercise adherence delays recovery. The aim of this study was to explore barriers to and facilitators of exercise rehabilitation adherence in injured volleyball athletes. Eight professional volleyball athletes were recruited, and qualitative data were collected using semistructured interviews. All athletes had completed their rehabilitation program after they had suffered a musculoskeletal injury. All data were analyzed using thematic analysis after the investigators ensured that saturation had been reached. Pain was identified as a significant barrier to exercise adherence by all athletes. The provision of social support, including mental, practical, and task related, also had a significant positive impact. The athletes’ ability to develop the necessary coping strategies and confidence on performing exercises at home was also mentioned as a factor that affected exercise adherence, although less often.
Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg, Jérémie Verner-Filion, and Patrick Gaudreau
Athletes can respond to positive experiences in sport by engaging in savoring—that is, by attempting to prolong or amplify their positive feelings. In this research, the authors tested if savoring was predicted by levels of harmonious or obsessive passion for sport and if savoring was associated with symptoms of burnout. In Study 1 (n = 499), the authors found that savoring was positively associated with harmonious passion and negatively associated with obsessive passion. In addition, savoring predicted lower levels of burnout and played an indirect role in the relationship between both passion types and burnout. The authors replicated these findings in Study 2 (n = 298), with collegiate-level athletes, prospectively, over the course of a season. Overall, athletes with strong levels of harmonious passion appear to be most likely to engage in savoring, a response that may protect them from experiencing higher levels of burnout.
Christine E. Pacewicz and Alan L. Smith
Interpersonal exchanges may contribute to athletes’ motivational and well-being experiences through their contribution to athletes’ feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is understudied in sport, yet it is potentially salient in connecting social relationships with motivational processes and well-being of athletes. The purpose of the current research was to examine (a) the association of aspects of teammate relationships with athletes’ perceptions of burnout and engagement and (b) whether loneliness explained these associations. Adolescent athletes (N = 279) completed established measures of teammate relationships, loneliness, burnout, and engagement. The mediational model was invariant between boys and girls. Loneliness mediated the relationship of social support (β = −0.14, 0.10), corumination (β = 0.09, −0.06), and appraisal of peer rejection (β = 0.11, −0.08) with burnout and engagement, respectively. Continued examination of athletes’ loneliness will extend understanding of athletes’ motivational and well-being experiences and inform the promotion of adaptive sport experiences.
Francesco V. Ferraro, James P. Gavin, Thomas W. Wainwright, and Alison K. McConnell
Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) improved balance ability and respiratory muscle function in healthy older adults. The current study is a retrospective analysis to explore the relationship between inspiratory muscle function, balance ability, and adaptation to IMT. All participants (total = 129; IMT = 60; age range = 65–85 years) performed inspiratory and balance assessments, including the mini-balance evaluation system test, maximal inspiratory pressure, and peak inspiratory flow tests. Baseline inspiratory muscle function was positively related to balance ability (p < .05), and IMT-induced improvements in inspiratory function (23.3% in maximal inspiratory pressure, 8.0% in peak inspiratory flow rate, 14.9% in maximal peak inspiratory power) were related to improvements in balance (10.6% in mini-balance evaluation system test), with the greatest improvements (17.0%) observed in the oldest participants (76–85 years old, p < .05). In conclusion, with or without IMT, positive associations between inspiratory function and balance ability exist, with greater improvements in inspiratory muscle function related to greater improvements in balance ability.
Ty B. Palmer, Jarrod Blinch, Ahalee C. Farrow, Chinonye C. Agu-Udemba, and Ethan A. Mitchell
This study aimed to examine the acute effects of fast-paced walking on isometric peak torque and rate of torque development (RTD) in regular exercising and inactive older women. Ten regular exercising (67 ± 4 years) and 10 inactive (68 ± 4 years) older women performed three isometric knee extension contractions before and after a control condition (quiet resting) and an experimental condition of fast-paced walking for 6 min. Peak torque and early (RTD100), late (RTD200), and maximum (peak RTD) RTD measurements were obtained from each contraction. Results showed no significant changes in peak torque, peak RTD, or RTD200 after walking for either group (p > .050). A significant decrease in RTD100 was observed after walking for the inactive group (p = .005) but not for the regular exercisers (p = .909). These findings highlight the importance of physical activity and suggest that a task as simple as walking may impair the rapid strength capacities of inactive older women.
Rosiane Jesus do Nascimento, Valter Cordeiro Barbosa Filho, Cassiano Ricardo Rech, Rafaela Batista Brasil, Renato Campos Junior, Inês Amanda Streit, and Ewertton de Souza Bezerra
The current study aimed to follow the effects of social/physical distancing strategies on health-related daily physical activity and quality of life among older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seventy-two older adults who were enrolled in a University–Community program in March 2020 (age = 66.8 ± 4.82 years, ♀59) answered five phone-based surveys up to 120 days after the COVID-19 outbreak (from April to August 2020). The Short Form 6D and international physical activity (short version) questionnaires were applied. A significant reduction was observed in daily physical activity levels, metabolic equivalent of task, and health-related quality of life scores as well as an increase in sitting time during the week and on weekend days (all p < .01). The authors noted differences in lifestyle conditions at the beginning of the social/physical distancing in the community assessed (p < .01). Health vulnerabilities among older adults have been emphasized during the COVID-19 outbreak, impacting daily physical activity and health-related quality of life.