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Volume 17 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024): Special Issue—Social Media and Sport Communication: Research Studies

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Volume 34 (2024): Issue 2 (Mar 2024)

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Volume 18 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024)

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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 2 (Mar 2024)

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Social Media and Sport Research: Empirical Examinations Showcasing Diversity in Methods and Topics

Jimmy Sanderson and Gashaw Abeza

This commentary introduces the second of two special issues in the International Journal of Sport Communication centered on social media and sport. The empirical studies presented in this issue illustrate both the diversity of topics and methodological approaches utilized by researchers working at the intersection of social media and sport. Research articles in this issue analyze topics ranging from sport consumer behavior to online fan communities to coaches’ perceptions of activism-related content posted on team social media accounts. The research presented here also employs a variety of methodological approaches including experimental design, critical discourse analysis, rhetorical analysis, and applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Collectively, these studies offer a foundation on which future research in social media and sport can build to continue to enhance our understanding of social media’s impact on the sport world.

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Volume 41 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024)

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Effect of Combined Training With Balance, Strength, and Plyometrics on Physical Performance in Male Sprint Athletes With Intellectual Disabilities

Ghada Jouira, Haithem Rebai, Dan Iulian Alexe, and Sonia Sahli

Individuals with intellectual disabilities often face unique challenges in physical capabilities, making traditional training methods less effective for their specific needs. This study aimed to investigate the effect of combining balance, plyometric, and strength (CBPS) training with sprint training on physical performance in male athletes with intellectual disabilities. Twenty-seven participants were randomly assigned to either a CBPS group or a control group that only maintained their regular sprint training. Participants underwent pre- and posttraining tests, including measures of balance, jumping, agility, and sprinting ability. The results showed that the CBPS group demonstrated significant improvements (p < .05) in one-leg stance, crossover-hop jump, squat jump, countermovement jump, and 10- and 30-m sprint at posttraining compared with pretraining. CBPS training combined with sprinting significantly improves physical performance in male athletes with intellectual disabilities, suggesting implications for tailored training programs to enhance their physical fitness and overall health.

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Framing Physical Literacy for Adults Through a Rehabilitation Lens: An Expert Consensus Study

Celeste Petrusevski, Joy C. MacDermid, Michael G. Wilson, and Julie Richardson

Research indicates a positive relationship between physical literacy and healthy aging; however, there is no consensus on the components required to become a physically literate adult. The objective of this study was to understand how physical literacy for adults with chronic conditions is characterized from the perspective of healthcare professionals. Physiotherapy leaders and physical literacy researchers within North America were invited to an online consensus panel and presented with questions related to physical literacy and rehabilitation. A nominal group technique was used for idea generation, clarification, and ranking. Confidence and safety with movements, motivation and commitment to physical activity, the ability to self-monitor changes in function, and understanding the benefits of physical activity were key components when defining physical literacy. There is a need to reconceptualize physical literacy to include the rehabilitation needs of adults living with chronic conditions, and to design programs that promote physical literacy to enhance function and mobility.

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Psychosocial Outcomes Associated With Types and Intensities of Physical Activity in People With Spinal Cord Injury: The Mediating Role of Self-Efficacy and Functionality

Alex Castan, Iván Bonilla, Andrés Chamarro, and Joan Saurí

Background: Low rates of participation and quality of life (QoL) and high rates of psychological distress are common in spinal cord injury (SCI) population. Research has supported the mediating role of self-efficacy and functionality in improving psychosocial outcomes. Furthermore, evidence supports the impact of physical activity (PA) on psychosocial variables, but little is known about the types and intensities of PA. The objective of this study was to determine whether functionality and/or general self-efficacy (GSE) mediate the relationships between the various types of PA: (1) lifestyle and (2) leisure-time physical activity (LTPA); and various intensities of PA: (1) mild, (2) moderate, and (3) heavy PA with participation, psychological distress, and perception of QoL. Methods: The Physical Activity Recall Assessment for SCI, and measures of functionality, GSE, participation, psychological distress, and perception of QoL were administered to 159 participants. Path analysis was performed using Jeffrey’s Amazing Statistics Program. Results: GSE significantly mediated, and functionality partially significantly mediated, the relationship between LTPA and psychosocial outcomes. GSE and functionality did not mediate the relationship between lifestyle activity and psychosocial outcomes. Conclusions: It is recommended that people with SCI perform LTPA on a regular basis to achieve psychosocial benefits. These programs should be accompanied by strategies to improve GSE.

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Systemic Sirtuin 1 as a Potential Target to Mediate Interactions Between Body Fat and Testosterone Concentration in Master Athletes

Patricio Lopes de Araújo Leite, Larissa Alves Maciel, Samuel da Silva Aguiar, Caio Victor Sousa, Rodrigo Vanerson Passos Neves, Ivo Vieira de Sousa Neto, Lucca Campbell Simões, Thiago dos Santos Rosa, and Herbert Gustavo Simões

Evidence indicates that master athletes have higher concentration of Sirtuin 1 (Sirt1), lower body fat (BF), and greater activity of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis in comparison to untrained peers. However, no published data have demonstrated possible mediation effect of Sirt1 in the interaction of BF and testosterone in this population. Therefore, this study compared and verified possible associations between Sirt1, BF, fat mass index (FMI), testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and testosterone/luteinizing hormone (T/LH) ratio in middle-aged master athletes (n = 54; 51.22 ± 7.76 years) and control middle-aged peers (n = 21; 47.76 ± 8.47 years). Venous blood was collected for testosterone, LH, and Sirt1. BF was assessed through skinfold protocol. Although LH concentration did not differ between groups, master athletes presented higher concentration of Sirt1, testosterone, and T/LH ratio, and lower BF and FMI in relation to age-matched nonathletes. Moreover, Sirt1 correlated positively with testosterone and T/LH ratio, negatively with BF, and was not significantly correlated with LH (mediation analysis revealed the effect of BF on testosterone is mediated by Sirt1 and vice versa; R 2 = .1776; p = .032). In conclusion, master athletes have higher testosterone, T/LH ratio, and Sirt1, and lower BF and FMI in relation to untrained peers. Furthermore, Sirt1 was negatively associated with BF and positively associated with testosterone and T/LH ratio. These findings suggest that increased circulating Sirt1, possibly due to the master athlete’s training regimens and lifestyle, exhibits a potential mediation effect on the interaction between endocrine function and body composition.