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What Influences Children’s Physical Activity? Investigating the Effects of Physical Self-Concept, Physical Self-Guides, Self-Efficacy, and Motivation

Lena Henning, Dennis Dreiskämper, Hannah Pauly, Steffen Filz, and Maike Tietjens

Physical fitness self-concept (PFSC) is an important predictor of motivation and physical activity in children. Recent studies revealed that not only PFSC but also its interplay with perceptions of one’s ideal and ought physical fitness self are related to motivation and physical activity. As the meaning of ideal and ought selves in children is yet unclear, this study aimed to investigate how PFSC, ideal physical fitness self, and ought physical fitness self are related to children’s motivation and physical activity. Six hundred forty-five children (M age = 8.87 years) filled out questionnaires twice with an interval of approximately 8 months. Polynomial regression with response surface analyses and mediation analyses was conducted. Results showed that PFSC, rather than ideal and ought self-perceptions, is associated with autonomous motivation, self-efficacy, and physical activity. The relationship between PFSC and physical activity was mediated by self-efficacy. Findings indicate that physical activity promotion programs should include PFSC and self-efficacy enhancement in childhood.

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Volume 44 (2022): Issue 5 (Oct 2022)

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Kim Gammage, Jeff Caron, Alyson Crozier, Alison Ede, Matt Hoffman, Christopher Hill, Sean Locke, Desi McEwan, Kathleen Mellano, Eva Pila, Matthew Stork, and Svenja Wolf

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Neural Activity During Imagery Supports Three Imagery Abilities as Measured by the Movement Imagery Questionnaire-3

Brian D. Seiler, Eva V. Monsma, Roger Newman-Norlund, and Ryan Sacko

Self-report and neural data were examined in 14 right-handed college-age males screened from a pool of 200 to verify neural activity during imagery and that the neural activity (area of brain) varies as a function of the imagery type. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data collected during real-time imagery of the three Movement Imagery Questionnaire-3 abilities indicated frontal areas, motor areas, and cerebellum active during kinesthetic imagery, motor areas, and superior parietal lobule during internal visual imagery, and parietal lobule and occipital cortex during external visual imagery. Central and imagery-specific neural patterns were found providing further biological validation of kinesthetic, internal visual, and external visual complementing results on females. Next, research should (a) compare neural activity between male participants screened by self-reported imagery abilities to determine if good imagers have more efficient neural networks than poor imagers and (b) determine if there is a statistical link between participants’ neural activity during imagery and self-report Movement Imagery Questionnaire-3 scores.

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MAN v FAT Soccer: Feasibility Study and Preliminary Efficacy of a Sport-Based Weight-Loss Intervention for Overweight and Obese Men in Australia

Timothy Budden, James A. Dimmock, Michael Rosenberg, Mark R. Beauchamp, Ian Fitzpatrick, and Ben Jackson

MAN v FAT Soccer is a sport-based weight-loss program for overweight and obese men that originated in the United Kingdom (i.e., as MAN v FAT Football) and appears to successfully engage men with weight loss. We sought to explore whether the program would work in an Australian context by (a) establishing a foundation for the implementation of the program on a larger scale and (b) determining how large-scale implementation is most feasible. We conducted a nonrandomized, single intervention group feasibility trial of MAN v FAT Soccer in Australia with 418 male participants with a body mass index greater than 27.50 kg/m2. Results indicate that the program is acceptable, with participants reporting positive perceptions of the various components of the program and a high proportion reporting intentions to recommend the program to others (95.9%). Furthermore, preliminary effectiveness results indicate positive changes in weight (4.6% reduction) and physical activity (88.5% increase) and improvements in psychological outcomes such as depression (17.6% decrease), stress (19.0% decrease), and body appreciation (19.1% increase). Our findings provide general support for the feasibility of MAN v FAT Soccer and the notion that leveraging competition and masculinity may help drive men’s health behavior change.

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Skill-Based Differences in the Detection and Utilization of Opponent Action Preferences Following Increasing Exposure and Changes in Tendencies

Joseph L. Thomas, David P. Broadbent, N. Viktor Gredin, Bradley J. Fawver, and A. Mark Williams

We examined skill-based differences in the detection and utilization of contextual information over a period of increasing exposure to an opponent’s action preferences in soccer. Moreover, we investigated the ability of athletes to adapt to changes in these action preferences over time. In an initial detection phase, the attacking opponent demonstrated a proclivity to either pass or dribble, with these preferences being reversed in a subsequent adaptation phase of the same length. Skilled soccer players showed superior anticipation accuracy across both phases compared with less-skilled counterparts. The skilled participants significantly enhanced their performance over both phases, despite a significant drop in performance immediately following the change in opponent action preferences. In contrast, the less-skilled group only improved over the detection phase. Gaze data revealed that the skilled participants fixated more on kinematically relevant areas, compared with the less-skilled group, and increased the time spent fixating the player “off the ball” following greater volumes of exposure. Our novel findings elaborate on how skilled performers use both action preferences and motion information to anticipate an opponent’s impending actions in sport.

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Volume 44 (2022): Issue 4 (Aug 2022)

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Social Support and Body Image in Group Physical Activity Programs for Older Women

Michelle Patterson, Meghan H. McDonough, Jennifer Hewson, S. Nicole Culos-Reed, and Erica Bennett

Physical declines with aging may negatively impact women’s body image. Group physical activity can be a source of social support that may improve body image. We examined how social support experienced in group physical activity programs impacts older women’s body image. Guided by interpretive description, we interviewed 14 women age 65 years and older who participated in group physical activity classes. Although women experienced both positive and negative body image, body image was generally positively impacted by physical activity. Four themes described social support processes that affected body image in the physical activity context: fitting in and being inspired through identifying with others; what is discussed and not discussed; providing comfort, understanding, and acceptance; and skilled and empathetic interactions with instructors. Understanding how social support in group physical activity can promote positive body image throughout aging can inform practical guidelines for facilitating and improving support in this context.

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A Perception–Action Assessment of the Functionality of Peripheral Vision in Expert and Novice Australian Footballers

Derek Panchuk and Michael Maloney

While widely acknowledged as being important for team-sport performance, the contribution of peripheral vision is poorly understood. This study aimed to better understand the role of far peripheral vision in team sport by exploring how domain experts and novices used far peripheral vision to support decision making and action control. Expert (n = 25) and novice (n = 23) Australian football players completed a perception-only task to assess the extent of their peripheral field. Next, they completed two sport-specific variations (response and recognition) of a “no-look” pass task that required passing a ball to a teammate who appeared in their far peripheral field. In the perception-only task, novices outperformed experts. However, in the sport-specific action response and recognition tasks, experts demonstrated superior performance as they responded to the stimulus farther from central vision and more accurately. Results demonstrate expertise effects for the use of far peripheral vision in sport.

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How Much Do Severely Injured Athletes Experience Sport Injury-Related Growth? Contrasting Psychological, Situational, and Demographic Predictors

Katja M. Pollak, Lea Boecker, Chris Englert, and David D. Loschelder

Sport injury-related growth (SIRG) describes the possibility for athletes to benefit psychologically from an injury. The present, preregistered online study examined an international sample of 335 athletes with impressive athletic biographies who sustained a severe sport-related injury. Expanding the extant literature, we empirically contrasted numerous psychological, situational, and demographic predictors of perceived SIRG—specifically, athletes’ optimism, coping style, self-efficacy, athletic identity, social support, need satisfaction, and injury centrality. Our data first provide empirical evidence for perceived SIRG, even when statistically controlling for a potential social-desirability bias in athletes’ responses. In addition, frequentist and Bayesian regression analyses showed that several psychological variables predicted perceived SIRG—particularly athletes’ informational social support, positive reframing, optimism, and injury centrality. Finally, post hoc mediation analyses showed how these psychological variables account for different levels of perceived SIRG as a function of demographic variables. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, along with directions for future research.