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Rebecca Olive

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Jan Haut, Freya Gassmann, Eike Emrich, Tim Meyer and Christian Pierdzioch

It is often claimed that elite sport success increases national pride as well as the international prestige of a country. To scrutinize this broad-shed assumption, we draw on data from an online survey carried out around the Rio 2016 Olympics, including questions on success, national identity and attitudes towards other countries and athletes. Exploratory analyses of open questions reveal that successful athletes celebrated at home are often ignored abroad. A country’s international image is rather shaped by negative perceptions regarding doping or unfairness. Statistical analyses of standardized questions support previous findings on the reception of sport events, such as the strong connection of national pride and desire for elite sport success. However, there is also strong indication for shared international standards of sportsmanship.

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Christopher R. Hill, Deborah L. Feltz, Stephen Samendinger and Karin A. Pfeiffer

Previous reviews have highlighted the importance of self-efficacy beliefs in maintaining adequate levels of childhood physical activity (PA), but variable findings with different age groups and measures of PA indicate the need to quantify the extant literature. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to estimate the relationship between adolescents’ barrier self-efficacy (BSE) and PA behavior using a random-effects model and to examine age and type of PA measurement as potential relationship moderators. A systematic online database review yielded 38 articles up to June 2018. A small to moderate correlation between BSE beliefs and PA was noted, although the variability was considerable. Age and measurement timing were not significant moderators, but the type of measurement was a significant relationship moderator. This meta-analysis emphasizes the importance of BSE as a psychosocial correlate to PA behavior in young people. There is a need for further BSE–PA research with attention to measurement technique and developmental differences.

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Bryan E. Denham

Drawing on contact, social identity, and self-categorization theories, this study examines the extent to which adolescent sports participation associates with (a) concern about the treatment of minority groups and (b) worry about race relations in the United States. Based on data gathered in the 2016 Monitoring the Future study of twelfth-grade students, the study finds that females, Hispanic study participants, respondents in the West region, and sports participants expressed greater concern about minority treatment. On the second dependent variable, females, Black study participants, and respondents in the West region indicated greater worry about race relations. The study also examined whether attitudes appeared to vary across baseball/softball, basketball, and soccer participation. Baseball/softball participants, who were predominantly White, expressed less concern about minority groups but did not differ from others on attitudes toward race relations. Additionally, while Black adolescents competing in baseball/softball and soccer worried about race relations at relatively high levels, those competing in basketball expressed significantly less concern. Implications and recommendations for future research are provided.

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Kristi A. Allain

Curling was perhaps once the sport the least associated with discipline and athleticism, instead having a reputation for drinking and smoking, an ethos prizing conviviality over competition, and a structure enabling amateurs to compete at the highest levels. However, during the gold-medal-winning performance of Team Brad Jacobs, a group of muscular young Canadian men, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, the public and media began celebrating changes in the sport that were already well under way. As curling enters a new era of rationalized training, fitness, and professionalization, this paper draws on interviews with older male curlers in two mid-size Canadian cities, and Ratele’s work on tradition, to ask what has been lost. Participants often embraced curling’s new emphasis on physical fitness. However, they also worried about the diminishing traditions of sociability, sportsmanship, and accessibility within the sport.

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Tom Perks

Building upon prior theoretical and empirical work, this study explores the sport participation trajectories of children across different socio-economic status (SES) categories to assess the possibility of changes in the SES-sport participation relationship as children age. Using representative panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, a multilevel analysis of 4,858 children aged 6 to 9 suggests that as children age the SES effect on sport participation persists over time. However, the SES effect on sport participation appears to have relatively small predictive import compared to other factors.

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Thilo Kunkel, Rui Biscaia, Akiko Arai and Kwame Agyemang

This research explored the role of athlete on- and off-field brand image on consumer commitment toward the athlete and associated team, preference by the athlete’s sponsor, and the mediating effect of consumers’ self-brand connection on these relationships. Data were collected from fans of soccer players through a cross-sectional survey promoted on social media platforms. A partial least squares structural equation model examined the direct effects of both athlete brand dimensions on athlete commitment, team commitment, and athlete sponsor preference, and the indirect effects mediated via self-brand connection. The results indicate that an athlete’s on-field image is significantly related to athlete sponsor preference, while the off-field image influences athlete commitment and team commitment. Self-brand connection is influenced by athlete off-field image and mediates the relationship between off-field image and athlete commitment. This study contributes to a better understanding of how to manage athlete brands and linkages between fans, athletes, and associated entities.