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  • Psychology and Behavior in Sport/Exercise x
  • Sport and Exercise Science/Kinesiology x
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Melinda A. Solmon, Kim C. Graber, Amelia Mays Woods, Nancy I. Williams, Thomas J. Templin, Sarah L. Price and Alison Weimer

This paper evolved from a panel discussion presented at the 2020 American Kinesiology Association Leadership Workshop focused on promoting physical activity through Kinesiology teaching and outreach. The authors consider the role of Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) in promoting physical activity by examining the historical role that PETE has played in what are now Departments of Kinesiology, the status of PETE programs today, and how the future of PETE programs can impact the future of the discipline of Kinesiology. The challenges and barriers that PETE programs face are presented. The role of PETE programs in research institutions is examined, and case studies are presented that demonstrate the complexities the academic units face regarding allocating resources to PETE programs. The consequences of program termination are considered, and the authors then make a case that PETE programs are important to the broader discipline of Kinesiology. The authors conclude by encouraging innovative solutions that can be developed to help PETE programs thrive.

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Irina Burchard Erdvik, Tommy Haugen, Andreas Ivarsson and Reidar Säfvenbom

This study investigated the temporal relations of adolescents’ basic need satisfaction in physical education (PE) and global self-worth in a sample of 3,398 lower and upper secondary school students (49% boys, 51% girls, average age T1 = 15.00, SD = 1.79). Four models and competing hypotheses were tested, and the model with bidirectional paths specified showed the best fit to the data. The bidirectional effect estimates suggest not only that basic need satisfaction in PE predicts global self-worth development but also that adolescents’ perceptions of global self-worth predict the degree to which they experience basic need satisfaction in PE. Findings could suggest that students with low global self-worth are less sensitive to basic need support in PE. These students may need personally tailored need-supportive initiatives in order to develop basic need satisfaction in PE and, thus, global self-worth through PE.

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Madison C. Chandler, Amanda L. McGowan, Ford Burles, Kyle E. Mathewson, Claire J. Scavuzzo and Matthew B. Pontifex

While compelling evidence indicates that poorer aerobic fitness relates to impairments in retrieving information from hippocampal-dependent memory, there is a paucity of research on how aerobic fitness relates to the acquisition of such relational information. Accordingly, the present investigation examined the association between aerobic fitness and the rate of encoding spatial relational memory—assessed using a maximal oxygen consumption test and a spatial configuration task—in a sample of 152 college-aged adults. The findings from this investigation revealed no association between aerobic fitness and the acquisition of spatial relational memory. These findings have implications for how aerobic fitness is characterized with regard to memory, such that aerobic fitness does not appear to relate to the rate of learning spatial–relational information; however, given previously reported evidence, aerobic fitness may be associated with a greater ability to recall relational information from memory.

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Jihyun Lee, Seung Ho Chang and Jerred Jolin

The motor and social skill difficulties experienced by many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can create challenges when participating in age appropriate physical activity contexts. Although behavioral interventions can increase the general social communicative skills of children with ASD, often the skills targeted are not relevant to physical activity contexts. Thus, this pilot study utilized a movement-based intervention program to support children with ASD in learning both social and movement skills that are relevant to physical activity contexts. Nineteen children with ASD with a mean age of 9.3 (±3.0) years participated in this program for 8 weeks, twice a week, at a recreation center as an afterschool activity. Six object control skills were selected and tested before and after the intervention because these gross motor skills were considered to elicit human interactions and place demands on social skills. Ten social skills were selected, aligned to each program context, taught, and evaluated. This intervention resulted in significant improvements in object-control skills for the participants. Additionally, there were significantly more participants who demonstrated improvements in their performance of the target social skills than who did not demonstrate improvements. These preliminary findings provide support for the feasibility of developing interventions that address social skill deficits in the context of physically active settings for children with ASD.

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Bart Reynders, Stef Van Puyenbroeck, Eva Ceulemans, Maarten Vansteenkiste and Gert Vande Broek

Building on recent self-determination theory research differentiating controlling coaching into a demanding and domineering approach, this study examined the role of both approaches in athletes’ motivational outcomes when accompanied by autonomy support or structure. Within team-sport athletes (N = 317; mean age = 17.67), four sets of k-means cluster analyses systematically pointed toward a four-cluster solution (e.g., high–high, high–low, low–high, and low–low), regardless of the pair of coaching dimensions used. One of the identified coaching profiles involved coaches who are perceived to combine need-supportive and controlling behaviors (i.e., high–high). Whereas combining need-supportive and domineering behaviors (i.e., high–high) yields lower autonomous motivation and engagement compared with a high need-support profile (i.e., high–low), this is less the case for the combination of need-supportive and demanding behaviors (i.e., high–high). This person-centered approach provides deeper insights into how coaches combine different styles and how some forms of controlling coaching yield a greater cost than others.

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Jeffrey J. Martin

Grants play a major role in higher education, including kinesiology. However, critical commentaries on the role of external funds appear nonexistent in kinesiology. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to outline the most common criticisms of grants to stimulate a conversation in kinesiology. First, I discuss benefits of grants. Second, I examine the role of grants in higher education. Third, I discuss how external funds are not required to contribute meaningful research. Fourth, I examine how a major reason for grants, to produce research publications, often goes unfullfilled. Fifth, I show how the development of grant applications (especially unsuccessful applications) is an inefficient expenditure of resources. Sixth, I discuss how pursuing grants can be detrimental to other important academy goals. Seventh, I examine how grants may negatively influence faculty and administrator morale and quality of life. Eighth, I report on some common criticisms of the grant review process and discuss some alternative reviewing systems. Finally, I end with a brief summary and some recommendations.

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Ryan D. Burns, Yang Bai and Timothy A. Brusseau

Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the independent and joint associations between physical activity (PA) and sports participation on academic performance variables within a representative sample of children and adolescents. Methods: Data were analyzed from the combined 2017–2018 National Survey of Children’s Health. Household addresses were randomly selected within each US state. One household parent answered health and wellness questions pertaining to one randomly selected household child (N = 37,392; 48.1% female; 6- to 17-y old). Weighted logistic regression models were employed to examine the independent and joint associations between child PA frequency and sports participation with academic performance variables, adjusting for child- and family-level covariates. Results: Child PA frequency independently associated with 37% to 46% lower odds and child sports participation independently associated with 53% lower odds of reported difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions (P < .001). For children who participated in sports, PA associated with 47% to 56% lower odds of ever repeating a grade level (P = .01). Conclusions: Frequency of weekly PA and sports participation independently and negatively associated with difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions, whereas the negative association between PA and ever repeating a grade level differed by child sports participation status.