The purpose of the study was to investigate which changes in kinematics and muscle activity in healthy, middle-aged women are introduced to maintain balance on an unstable platform. Biodex Balance System tests were used in stable and unstable modes (sudden with eyes open/closed and gradual with eyes open). Simultaneously, lower-extremity kinematics and surface electromyography of back and legs muscles were captured. The dependence between balance scores, movement ranges, and root mean square of electromyography was assessed with multiple regression to evaluate the strategy used. The results showed multisegmental movements in sudden instability, and activity of at least one of the following muscles: gluteus maximus, erector spinae, and soleus in all conditions. Best balance scores were achieved when movements appeared in pelvis in transverse, and hip in frontal planes, worst when in pelvis in frontal, hip, and ankle in sagittal planes, and when mentioned muscles were activated. Further research is needed to identify the determinants of strategy choice.
Ewa Szczerbik, Malgorzata Kalinowska, and Malgorzata Syczewska
Martha J. Anderson, Yvette Ingram, Linda Meyer, Thomas West, and Ellen West
Collegiate athletes have demonstrated a need for social support to help cope with their daily responsibilities. The purpose of this research was to explore National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II athletes’ perception of social support from friends, teammates, family, coaches, significant others, and athletic trainers following injury, illness, or other identified life stressors. There were 546 participants who completed a five-part survey using the University Stress Scale, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the Athletic Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the Perceived Stress Scale, and a demographic section. Of the participants, 352 (64.5%) stated that they experienced moderate stress levels, and all participants indicated experiencing an identified life stressor within the last 12 months. The results indicated statistically significant differences when comparing providers of social support: females preferred the support of friends, significant others, and athletic trainers, and freshmen and sophomores perceived more social support from friends than did juniors and seniors.
Tsz Lun (Alan) Chu, Ellea Bachmeier, and Taylor Mair
Qualitative research has demonstrated the prevalence of gender inequity and sexism in sport-related careers, including those in sport psychology. To provide quantitative evidence, we examined the role of gender in Certified Mental Performance Consultants’ (CMPC) specialization and employment by extracting and coding the data (N = 576) from the CMPC Directory. Independent samples t tests showed that male CMPCs specialized in more masculine sports, less feminine sports, and a similar number of gender-neutral sports compared with female CMPCs. Chi-square tests of independence revealed a larger proportion of male than female CMPCs working in professional sport. No significant differences were found in other employment settings (college sport, military, and private practice), age-group specialization, and mental health licensure. These findings, which should be interpreted with caution before further investigation, suggest a need for collaboration between sport psychology professionals and sport organizations that might help mitigate internal and external barriers to gender equity.
Rafael F. Escamilla, Naiquan Zheng, Toran D. MacLeod, Rodney Imamura, Shangcheng Wang, Kevin E. Wilk, Kyle Yamashiro, and Glenn S. Fleisig
The objective was to assess how patellofemoral loads (joint force and stress) change while lunging with step length and step height variations. Sixteen participants performed a forward lunge using short and long steps at ground level and up to a 10-cm platform. Electromyography, ground reaction force, and 3D motion were captured, and patellofemoral loads were calculated as a function of knee angle. Repeated-measures 2-way analysis of variance (P < .05) was employed. Patellofemoral loads in the lead knee were greater with long step at the beginning of landing (10°–30° knee angle) and the end of pushoff (10°–40°) and greater with short step during the deep knee flexion portion of the lunge (50°–100°). Patellofemoral loads were greater at ground level than 10-cm platform during lunge descent (50°–100°) and lunge ascent (40°–70°). Patellofemoral loads generally increased as knee flexion increased and decreased as knee flexion decreased. To gradually increase patellofemoral loads, perform forward lunge in the following sequence: (1) minimal knee flexion (0°–30°), (2) moderate knee flexion (0°–60°), (3) long step and deep knee flexion (0°–100°) up to a 10-cm platform, and (4) long step and deep knee flexion (0°–100°) at ground level.
Morgan Cleveringa and E. Andrew Pitchford
Adults with intellectual disabilities have increasing life expectancy but may be susceptible to early aging-related conditions. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between the presence of low muscle strength, low bone mineral density, and high body mass index with age and sex in adult Special Olympics athletes. Grip strength (n = 6,477; 40.9% female), chair stand time (n = 6,444; 40.5% female), body mass index (n = 7,824; 43.7% female), and bone mineral density (n = 3,091; 43.2% female) measurements were provided by Special Olympics International. Poor grip strength, chair stand time, bone mineral density, and body mass index were identified in 43.8%, 46.2%, 28.7%, and 50.3% of each sample, respectively. Increasing age was a risk factor for all conditions (odds ratio = 1.30–10.89; p < .05). High rates of adverse health conditions were observed in a sample of adults with intellectual disabilities. Increased risk was observed as early as the fourth decade of life.
Cassandra M. Seguin and Diane M. Culver
While research advancements have substantially improved concussion management efforts, consideration for the psychological and social aspects of concussive injuries have remained largely absent from concussion protocols. The present study was undertaken to identify elite athletes’ psychological and social needs during the recovery process. Elite athletes with a history of concussion and mental performance consultants who work with concussed elite athletes participated in focus group interviews to shed light on these needs. A thematic analysis of these focus groups revealed six psychological and social needs: acceptance, normality, confidence, self-efficacy, trust in relationships, and social support. These themes are framed within concussion literature to help initiate a conversation on how psychological and social needs should be addressed as part of multifaceted efforts to improve concussion recovery.
ZáNean McClain, Erin Snapp, and Daniel W. Tindall
Shakiba Oftadeh-Moghadam and Paul Gorczynski
The aim of this systematic review was to investigate the prevalence of mental health symptoms and disorders in rugby players. Six electronic databases were searched in December 2020. Studies were included if they provided quantitative data on mental health symptoms and disorders and consisted of adult rugby players. Eight studies were included, covering symptoms of anxiety, depression, alcohol use/misuse, distress, sleeping/sleep disturbance, and eating disorders/adverse nutrition behaviors. Prevalence of mental health symptoms ranged from 6% (depression) to 68.8% (alcohol use/misuse). Most rates were similar to the general population, while symptoms of sleeping/sleep disturbance were lower, and symptoms of eating disorders/adverse nutrition behaviors and alcohol use/misuse were higher than the general population. One study included female rugby players. Epidemiological evidence comprising of rigorous diagnostic data and inclusive of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and other protected characteristics is needed to inform future mental health support in this population.