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Impact of Behavior Modification on Female Campers’ Physical Activity in Summer Camp

Zachary Wahl-Alexander and Huntleigh Wozniak

In order to combat rampant health and wellness deterioration over the summer months, residential summer camps have been presented as a possible solution to thwart such declines in overall health and wellbeing. The purpose of this study was to determine the differential effects of prompting, and prompting combined with reinforcement on female campers’ step counts at a residential summer camp. The participants in this study were 104 female campers (M age = 13.71), all attending the same residential summer camp. An alternating treatment design was implemented to evaluate campers’ daily physical activity across three conditions (baseline, prompting, and prompting combined with contingent reinforcement) throughout the duration of the 51 days camp experience. In accordance with standard Applied Behavior Analysis research, data were plotted graphically in order to employ visual analysis to determine functional relationships between the intervention (prompting only, prompting plus group contingency, and target behavior [step count]). Results of this study indicate that prompting with group contingencies (29%) and without (13%) successfully led to an increased amount of daily physical activity. Further, small variance within the group contingency group illustrates the breadth of success for this technique. This is the first comprehensive intervention focused primarily on influencing female campers’ physical activity levels in the residential camp context and demonstrates a cost-effective strategy for improving activity among female campers.

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Volume 31 (2023): Issue 1 (Apr 2023)

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“Can You Work With Athletes as a Female?”: Career Experiences of Female Sport Psychology Practitioners

Rena M.G. Curvey, Shannon C. White, Candice N. Hargons, Myles T. Englis, Katherine C. Jensen, Marissa K. Bosco, Mikaela E. Thompson, Samantha Leavens, and Emily A. Murphy

The heteropatriarchal ideology undergirding sport has been recognized as a root cause of gender biases across multiple domains. Gender bias persists, although there is a growing number of female sport psychology practitioners entering the field. As such, continued exploration of the impact gender biases and stereotypes has on women’s career experiences remains necessary. Utilizing a feminist standpoint framework, the purpose of this research was to explore the career experiences of female sport psychology practitioners, centering the role of sexism. Seventeen cisgender female sport psychology practitioners participated in semistructured interviews from May 2021 to July 2021. Participants’ ages ranged from 24 to 46 years, with a mean age of 33.2 years, and years of applied experience ranged from 2 to 21 years, with a mean of 7.4 years. Reflective thematic analysis revealed five themes: (a) perceived lack of credibility, (b) compensation disparities, (c) sexist attitudes, (d) pregnancy and parenthood, and (e) advocating for self and others. Participants’ experiences suggest female sport psychology practitioners are confronted with blatant sexism in the workplace that poses professional challenges and career obstacles they have resiliently navigated. This study contributes to the growing body of literature pertaining to women in sport by purposefully exploring the juncture of gender with other identity factors (e.g., age, sexual orientation, and credibility).

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Redressing the Balance: Women in Sport and Exercise Academic Network Conference, University of Worcester, United Kingdom, April 19–22, 2021

Gillian Renfree

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Examining the Role of Physical Activity on Psychological Well-Being and Mental Health Postpartum

Iris A. Lesser, Stéphanie Turgeon, Carl P. Nienhuis, and Corliss Bean

Postpartum physical activity can positively impact mental and physical health. There is a need to better understand how physical activity is related to various psychological constructs to support physical activity in postpartum women. Thus, the purpose of this exploratory, quantitative, study was to examine differences between postpartum women who were physically active and those who were physically inactive on psychological (e.g., self-compassion) and mental health constructs. Five hundred twenty-five women (M age = 28.4) completed an online survey. Participants who reported being active following the birth of their last child had significantly higher exercise self-efficacy, self-compassion, and basic psychological needs fulfillment for exercise and significantly lower levels of perceived fatigue, anxiety, and depression compared with their inactive counterparts. However, active mothers had lower body satisfaction than inactive mothers. Women who are active after the birth of a child have improved psychological constructs that may benefit  overall well-being and mental health during this challenging transition.

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Gender Differences in Coaching Behaviors Supportive of Positive Youth Sports Experience

Julie McCleery, Irina Tereschenko, Longxi Li, and Nicholas Copeland

In the youth sports domain, few coaches are women, masculine ideologies permeate the culture, and coaching practices do not always align with behaviors supportive of positive youth sports experience. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in men’s and women’s coaching behaviors associated with creating positive youth sports experience, including behaviors that create a safe and fun participation environment, a mastery motivational climate, and autonomy-supportive coaching. A total of 219 youth and high school coaches across different sports in one county in a western state responded to the survey—29% of them women. Along with the overall dearth of women in coaching, we found differences between men and women in the types of coaching positions they hold and the behaviors they bring to their coaching. Female coaches were more likely to be paid, primarily part-time, and they were also less likely to have children. Using a multivariate analysis of variance, significant mean vectors were found between female and male coaches in the four coaching behaviors measured. Women’s ratings were significantly higher on individual measures for autonomy and safety. As the coaching field comes to better understand the approaches that lead to positive youth sports experience, these findings raise important questions about why women and mothers are not a larger proportion of the coaching landscape and how that might change.

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Erratum. The Women’s Sports Foundation 50 Years of Title IX: We’re Not Done Yet Executive Summary and Policy Recommendations

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Advocating for Gender Equity in Sport: An Analysis of the Canadian Women and Sport She’s Got It All Campaign

Maryam Marashi, Sabrina Malouka, Tahla den Houdyker, and Catherine M. Sabiston

Despite increasing access to sport and exercise opportunities, girls and women in Canada continue to face gender disparity in sport participation. Several media campaigns have emerged to address this disparity and advocate for gender equity in sport. However, there is little understanding or evaluation of the content of these media campaigns. Informed by sport participation research, the She’s Got It All campaign was designed to highlight the challenges and intersecting disadvantages that girls and women face in sport. The purpose of the current study was to assess the textual and visual content of this campaign. The posters (N = 48) were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis (text) and deductive content analysis (visual) to identify the characteristics of the images and the themes in the messages. Based on the thematic analysis, seven main themes pertaining to girls’ and women’s barriers to sport participation are identified including physiology, gendered social behaviors, intrapersonal beliefs, environmental contexts, stereotypes, female representation, and interpersonal support. Based on the content analysis, most of the models presented in the posters are perceived as White and average-sized adult women, with visible muscle definition, slightly or nonrevealing clothing, and performing an individual sport. The poster visual and text material seem to miss opportunities to highlight the experiences of girls and women identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or sometimes questioning), and others and those classified as lower socioeconomic status. These findings provide foundational information for future research and media campaign designed to target gender equity in sport.

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For the Love of Strength: Experiences of Female Strength and Conditioning Coaches

Yvette L. Figueroa and Emily A. Roper

Women’s involvement in sport has been replete with challenges at all levels. In a similar vein, women in strength and conditioning (S&C) encounter workplace challenges at all levels. Given the lack of representation of women in S&C, it is important to delve into the potential contributing factors. The aim of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of women’s experiences in S&C. A total of 19 female S&C coaches at the collegiate level participated in our study. Participants were interviewed individually by both investigators via Zoom video calls using a semistructured interview guide. An overwhelming interest in participation among female S&C coaches allowed for interviews to be performed past the stage of saturation. Career experience among participants ranged from 4 to 26 years (M = 12.87 years). Results uncovered five central themes: (a) entrance into the S&C field and navigating a male-dominated culture, (b) appearance and presentation, (c) pressure to hire women, (d) support community and mentorship, and (e) family. Despite the perceived barriers described by these women, all participants stressed the love and passion each has for their career. The implications of this study are vital for administrators and athletic directors to advocate for greater representation of women in S&C and associated leadership positions.

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Regulatory Policy and Women’s Sports: The Nexus of Gender Verification, Title IX, and Trans Inclusion

Emily Carol Stets

Title IX specifies that “no person” shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of sex. Yet, advocacy groups and state legislators have debated transgender girls’ and women’s right to participate in sports teams consistent with their gender identity. Such entities employ misguided research about testosterone’s role in sports, assert that transgender girls displace cisgender girls in sports, and weaponize gender verification against transgender girls. Title IX’s original intent catalyzes access for all young people in sports, regardless of gender identity. A review of the historical underpinnings of the regulatory policy driving Title IX’s implementation, leading up to the Biden administration’s current efforts to assess Title IX’s application to sports, underscores the path to the truest implementation of Title IX. The regulatory mechanisms establishing Title IX implementation compel maximization of sport opportunities for all girls and women, which includes trans girls and women.