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Open access

Joseph J. Murphy, Fiona Mansergh, Marie H. Murphy, Niamh Murphy, Benny Cullen, Sarah O’Brien, Stephen Finn, Grainne O’Donoghue, Niamh Barry, Shirley O’Shea, Kevin M. Leyden, Peter Smyth, Jemima Cooper, Enrique G. Bengoechea, Nick Cavill, Andrew J. Milat, Adrian E. Bauman, and Catherine B. Woods

Physical activity (PA) promotion is a complex challenge, with the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA) endorsing a systems approach and recommending countries assess existing areas of progress which can be strengthened. This paper reports a process facilitating a systems approach for identifying current good practice and gaps for promoting PA in Ireland. Elements of participatory action research were enabled through 3 stages: (1) aligning examples of actions from Irish policy documents (n = 3) to the GAPPA, (2) workshop with stakeholders across multiple sectors, and (3) review of outputs. Data collected through the workshop were analyzed using a deductive thematic analysis guided by the GAPPA. The policy context in Ireland aligns closely to the GAPPA with the creation of Active Systems the most common strategic objective across policy documents. Forty participants (50% male) took part in the systems approach workshop, which after revision resulted in 80 examples of good practice and 121 actions for greater impact. A pragmatic and replicable process facilitating a systems approach was adopted and showed current Irish policy and practices align with the GAPPA “good practices.” The process provides existing areas of progress which can be strengthened, as well as the policy opportunities and practice gaps.

Open access

Bridget C. Foley, Mathew McLaughlin, Sarah Edney, Sheikh Mohammed Shariful Islam, Jessica Seymour, Louisa R. Peralta, Angela Douglas, Simon Rosenbaum, Holly Thorpe, Janice Atkin, Tim Olds, and Ding Ding

The Australasian Society for Physical Activity aims to advance the science and practice of physical activity in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Fun, enjoyment, and cross-disciplinary discourse are important to ensure the network of physical activity professionals and our collective voice continues to grow. In May 2021, Australasian Society for Physical Activity’s Early Career Network curated an engaging online Physical Activity Debate attended by 206 professionals. This commentary provides a synopsis of the debate and the central arguments presented by the affirmative and negatives teams. The authors describe the debate format and interactive design of the online Physical Activity Debate to provide insights for future online events that aim to boost interaction among physical activity professionals from various disciplines.

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Emma S. Cowley, Alyssa A. Olenick, Kelly L. McNulty, and Emma Z. Ross

This study aimed to conduct an updated exploration of the ratio of male and female participants in sport and exercise science research. Publications involving humans were examined from The European Journal of Sports Science, Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise, The Journal of Sport Science & Medicine, The Journal of Physiology, The American Journal of Sports Medicine, and The British Journal of Sports Medicine , 2014–2020. The total number of participants, the number of male and female participants, the title, and the topic, were recorded for each publication. Data were expressed in frequencies and percentages. Chi-square analyses were used to assess the differences in frequencies in each of the journals. About 5,261 publications and 12,511,386 participants were included in the analyses. Sixty-three percentage of publications included both males and females, 31% included males only, and 6% included females only (p < .0001). When analyzing participants included in all journals, a total of 8,253,236 (66%) were male and 4,254,445 (34%) were female (p < .0001). Females remain significantly underrepresented within sport and exercise science research. Therefore, at present most conclusions made from sport and exercise science research might only be applicable to one sex. As such, researchers and practitioners should be aware of the ongoing sex data gap within the current literature, and future research should address this.

Open access

Malorie Polster, Erin E. Dooley, Kate Olscamp, Katrina L. Piercy, and April Oh

Background: Dissemination of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (Guidelines) is needed, but how individuals respond to the Guidelines is not well understood. This surveillance study describes US adults’ reported responses to and information sources for hearing about the Guidelines and explores relationships between how respondents heard about the Guidelines and their reported response(s). Methods: Data were analyzed from the population-based 2019 Health Information National Trends Survey 5 Cycle 3. Population-weighted proportions of response were calculated. Among those who had heard about the Guidelines, binary logistic regressions examined associations between the reported response(s) and the information source and number of sources reported. Results: The analytical sample included 5047 adults. Nearly 65% of US adults reported hearing about the Guidelines, and 29% reported a behavioral response (eg, increased physical activity). Hearing about the Guidelines through health professionals (adjusted odds ratio = 2.30, 95% confidence interval, 1.45–3.65) or social media (adjusted odds ratio = 1.89, 95% confidence interval, 1.20–2.96) (vs other sources) was associated with reporting increasing physical activity. Hearing from multiple sources (vs one source) was associated with reporting increasing physical activity (adjusted odds ratio = 1.97, 95% confidence interval, 1.18–3.31). Conclusion: Findings suggest dissemination of the Guidelines across multiple channels may promote greater changes in physical activity.

Open access

Christoph Breuer, Svenja Feiler, and Lea Rossi

Coaches play a vital role in providing sports programs. Investing in formal coach education can serve to increase coaches’ human capital, which in turn, has a positive effect on their coaching practice. The present study investigates factors influencing coaches’ intention to get training for their coaching activity on an individual and organizational level. Nationwide online surveys were conducted in Germany on both nonprofit sports clubs and coaches being active within these clubs. Data were analyzed using multilevel regression analysis on a sample of n = 2,384 coaches in n = 1,274 clubs. Results show that especially the expiring validity of the coaching license, aspects of personal development, and low transaction costs are crucial factors for the intention to obtain a qualification. The results lead to several implications for theory and practice. Clubs could enhance the qualification intention and, thereby, the quality of sports programs by appointing a contact person who informs about qualification possibilities.

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Katie Sullivan Barak, Chelsea A. Kaunert, Vikki Krane, and Sally R. Ross

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.

Open access

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.

Open access

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.