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Jennifer T. Coletti, Veronica Allan, and Luc J. Martin

A child’s first contact with media and culture typically comes from books they are exposed to in the home and at school. The narratives presented contribute to the early reinforcement of gender roles and norms and can greatly influence the way that young girls perceive and experience sport. The purpose of this study was to explore the narratives within sport-based books geared toward a young female audience to determine the extent to which they promote the engagement of girls in sport. A pragmatic literature search was conducted to obtain books that met our inclusion criteria. Books (n = 28) were analyzed based on the age of their intended audience (aged 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12 years) using thematic narrative analysis. Although the authors promoted the engagement of girls in sport, underlying gender stereotypes were nevertheless salient. Across the books, themes involved the emphasis of “feminine” sports as a context for diversity and learning, the need to understand development as a process, the importance of relationships, and implications pertaining to perceptions of capability as female athletes. Most importantly, the application of a critical feminist lens enabled us to identify an underlying theme—the reinforcement of gender stereotypes—that permeated the storylines and served to undermine the potential adaptive messaging intended by authors. These findings suggest the need for greater attention toward the complexity of female sport and a cultural shift in thinking toward gender equity rather than simply increasing sport access for female participants.

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Emily A. Roper and José A. Santiago

The purpose of this study was to examine how and how often athletic girls were represented on the cover art of young adult (YA) sport fiction. In this research, 154 YA sport fiction books were analyzed using quantitative content analysis. Using existing sport research and theory focused on women’s representation in sport media, the researchers developed a coding scheme to assess cover art for each of the following categories: (a) presence and racial representation of female character/s on cover; (b) portrayal of female body on cover (whole body, partial body/with head, or partial body/without head); (c) portrayal of female character as active or passive; (d) portrayal of female character in or out of athletic uniform; (e) portrayal of female character in or out of the sport setting; (f) presence of sport equipment; and (g) type of cover. Findings revealed that 81% of the book covers had a female character in which 29% of the covers displayed the whole body, 47% displayed partial body/with head, and 23% displayed partial body/with no head of the female character. Only 0.06% of the book covers had a female character of color. Approximately 31% of the female characters were displayed in active positioning, 58% in athletic attire, and 44% in the sport setting. Of the books reviewed, 55% displayed equipment on the cover. The findings indicate that athletic girls have few images on YA sport fiction cover art that accurately represent their athleticism, and there is a clear absence of diverse representation. It is critical that those responsible for the design and layout of book covers clearly represent active females in action, in uniform, and in the sport context.

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Craig Pickering, Dylan Hicks, and John Kiely

Elite sprint performances typically peak during an athlete’s 20s and decline thereafter with age. The mechanisms underpinning this sprint performance decline are often reported to be strength-based in nature with reductions in strength capacities driving increases in ground contact time and decreases in stride lengths and frequency. However, an as-of-yet underexplored aspect of Masters sprint performance is that of age-related degradation in neuromuscular infrastructure, which manifests as a decline in both strength and movement coordination. Here, the authors explore reductions in sprint performance in Masters athletes in a holistic fashion, blending discussion of strength and power changes with neuromuscular alterations along with mechanical and technical age-related alterations. In doing so, the authors provide recommendations to Masters sprinters—and the aging population, in general—as to how best to support sprint ability and general function with age, identifying nutritional interventions that support performance and function and suggesting useful programming strategies and injury-reduction techniques.

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Julie Freedman, Sally Hage, and Paula A. Quatromoni

Male athletes are underrepresented in eating disorders research. This phenomenological study investigated the experiences of male athletes who self-identified as having an eating disorder, disordered eating, or compulsive exercise behaviors. Eight male collegiate athletes were interviewed, and qualitative analysis identified factors associated with the onset and maintenance of disordered behaviors. Among the novel findings was the salient influence of social media as a driver of body dissatisfaction and disordered behaviors. The participants described a perceived sense of control and feeling of pride associated with the use of behaviors, cultural norms in a male sport environment that sustained these behaviors, and a shared belief that, until they experienced a loss of control over their use of behaviors, they would not likely ask for help or seek treatment. These findings have implications for additional research, as well as individual and systems-level strategies for the prevention, screening, and treatment of eating and exercise disorders in male sport.

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Caroline Pereira Santos, Mahara Proença, Tamara dos Santos Gouveia, Crystian Bitencourt Soares de Oliveira, Guilherme Yassuki Tacao, Iara Buriola Trevisan, Ercy Mara Cipulo Ramos, and Dionei Ramos

Background: The specific benefits of aerobic exercises in smoking cessation are unclear, as they have different characteristics, intensities, and durations. The purpose of this systematic review with meta-analysis was to evaluate the effects of aerobic exercise, with or without co-interventions, compared with a control group of cognitive behavior treatment on smoking cessation. Methods: This review was prospectively registered on PROSPERO, and the searches were performed from 2016 to 2018. Randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of aerobic exercise, with or without nicotine therapy replacement, compared with usual care were included. The primary outcome was smoking cessation defined as the prevalence of those who quit or continuous abstinence. Meta-analysis was calculated using random effects model in the comprehensive meta-analysis software. Results: The authors identified 18 trials reporting data for a total of 2815 participants. There was moderate-quality evidence that aerobic exercise was better than usual care in promoting smoking cessation at short term (11 trials, risk ratio 0.79; 95% confidence interval, 0.66–0.94). However, there were no differences between aerobic exercises and usual care at medium- or long-term follow-ups. Conclusions: According to review, aerobic exercise may be effective in promoting smoking cessation at short-term, but not at medium- and long-term follow-ups.

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Antje Ullrich, Sophie Baumann, Lisa Voigt, Ulrich John, and Sabina Ulbricht

Background: The purposes of this study were to examine accelerometer measurement reactivity (AMR) in sedentary behavior (SB), physical activity (PA), and accelerometer wear time in 2 measurement periods and to quantify AMR as a human-related source of bias for the reproducibility of SB and PA estimates. Methods: In total, 136 participants (65% women, mean age = 54.6 y) received 7-day accelerometry at the baseline and after 12 months. Latent growth models were used to identify AMR. Intraclass correlations were calculated to examine the reproducibility using 2-level mixed-effects linear regression analyses. Results: Within each 7-day accelerometry assessment, the participants increased their time spent in SB (b = 2.4 min/d; b = 3.8 min/d) and reduced their time spent in light PA (b = −2.0 min/d; b = −3.2 min/d), but did not change moderate to vigorous PA. The participants reduced their wear time (b = −5.2 min/d) only at the baseline. The intraclass correlations ranged from .42 for accelerometer wear time to .74 for SB. The AMR was not identified as a source of bias in any regression model. Conclusions: AMR may influence SB and PA estimates differentially. Although 7-day accelerometry seems to be a reproducible measure, our findings highlight accelerometer wear time as a crucial confounder in analyzing SB and PA data.

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Matthew D. Bird, Eadie E. Simons, and Patricia C. Jackman

Mental toughness has been associated with factors related to psychological well-being, but little is known about its relationship with stigma toward mental health and mental health help-seeking. This study investigated the relationship between mental toughness, sport-related well-being, and personal stigma toward mental health in a sample of 154 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I student-athletes. The moderating effect of mental toughness on the relationship between public stigma and self-stigma toward mental health help-seeking was also explored. Mental toughness was significantly and positively associated with sport-related well-being, but not significantly related to personal stigma toward mental health. Moderation analysis indicated that mental toughness was not a significant moderator of the relationship between public stigma and self-stigma, but higher levels of mental toughness were significantly associated with lower levels of stigma toward mental health help-seeking. Building mental toughness may be a way to increase well-being and to reduce stigma toward help-seeking in student-athletes.

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Rodrigo Torres-Castro, Luis Vasconcello-Castillo, Roberto Acosta-Dighero, Nicolás Sepúlveda-Cáceres, Marisol Barros-Poblete, Homero Puppo, Roberto Vera-Uribe, Jordi Vilaró, and Mario Herrera-Romero

Background: The literature is unclear as to whether children and adolescents with chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) differ from their healthy peers in physical activity (PA). Objective: To determine the PA levels measured through accelerometers in children and adolescents with CRDs. Methods: The authors conducted a systematic review using five databases. The authors included studies that assessed the PA measured by accelerometers in children and adolescents with CRDs. Two independent reviewers analyzed the studies, extracted the data, and assessed the quality of evidence. Results: From 11,497 reports returned by the initial search, 29 articles reporting on 4381 patients were included. In the sensitivity analysis, the authors found that children and adolescents with CRDs had a moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) of −0.08 hours per day (95% confidence interval [CI], −0.12 to −0.03 h/d; P = .001), which was lower than the healthy controls; the values for sedentary time (mean difference −0.47 h/d; 95% CI, −1.29 to 0.36 h/d; P = .27) and steps/d (mean difference 361 steps/d; 95% CI −385 to 1707 steps/d; P = .45) were similar for both. Conclusion: Children and adolescents with CRDs have a slight reduction in MVPA in comparison with healthy controls, but sedentary time and steps/d were similar for both.

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Daniel J. McDonough, Wenxi Liu, Xiwen Su, and Zan Gao

Background: The effects of school-based exergaming interventions on adolescents’ physical activity (PA) and psychosocial outcomes have been mixed. Researchers speculate this may be attributed to design issues. Therefore, this study examined differences in urban minority adolescents’ PA, enjoyment, and self-efficacy during small-groups and full-class exergaming. Methods: Forty-seven urban minority adolescents (83% black; X¯age=11.8+1.3y) completed two 15-minute exergaming sessions on the Xbox One Kinect Just Dance: (1) small groups (n = 3–4) and (2) full class (n = 23–24). Participants’ time in sedentary behavior, light PA, and moderate to vigorous PA and steps were retrieved from ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometers with enjoyment and self-efficacy assessed using validated surveys. Results: Participants spent significantly more time in sedentary behavior (5.9 [5.2] min vs 3.5 [2.7] min, respectively: P < .001, d = 0.57) and less time in moderate-to-vigorous PA (2.1 [2.8] min vs 5.5 [2.2] min, respectively: P < .001, d = 0.85) during the full-class versus the small-groups session. Moreover, small-groups exergaming resulted in significantly higher steps than the full-class exergaming (504.2 [132.1] vs 387.8 [122.1], respectively: P = .01, d = 0.50) and significantly greater enjoyment (3.5 [1.1] vs 3.2 [1.0], respectively: P = .02, d = 0.37). There were no significant differences between sessions for time in light PA and self-efficacy. Conclusions: Small-groups exergaming appears ideal for promoting enjoyable PA at higher intensities and lower sedentary time in underserved minority adolescents.

Open access

Richard Tahtinen, Hafrun Kristjansdottir, Daniel T. Olason, and Robert Morris

The aim of the study was to explore the prevalence of specific symptoms of depression in athletes and to test differences in the likelihood of athletes exhibiting these symptoms across age, sex, type of team sport, and level of competition. A sample of Icelandic male and female team sport athletes (N = 894, 18–42 years) was included in the study. Of the athletes exhibiting clinically significant depressive symptoms on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, 37.5% did not exhibit core symptoms of depression. Compared with males, females were significantly more likely to exhibit depressed mood, feelings of worthlessness/guilt, and problems with sleep, fatigue, appetite, and concentration. Within males, differences were mostly related to neurovegetative aspects of depression (sleep and appetite), whereas in females, differences were related to cognitive/emotional aspects (e.g., depressed mood, guilt/worthlessness). The findings underline the importance of exploring specific symptoms of depression to provide a richer understanding of depressive symptomology in athletes.