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Abby Haynes, Catherine Sherrington, Geraldine Wallbank, David Lester, Allison Tong, Dafna Merom, Chris Rissel and Anne Tiedemann

The Coaching for Healthy Ageing trial evaluated the impact on physical activity (PA) and falls based on a year-long intervention in which participants aged 60+ receive a home visit, regular health coaching by physiotherapists, and a free activity monitor. This interview study describes the participants’ experiences of the intervention and ideas for improvement. The authors sampled purposively for maximum variation in experiences. The data were analyzed thematically by two researchers. Most of the 32 participants reported that the intervention increased PA levels, embedded activities, and generated positivity about PA. They were motivated by quantified PA feedback, self-directed goals, and person-centered coaching. Social connectivity motivated some, but the intervention did not support this well. The intervention structure allowed participants to trial and embed activities. Autonomy and relatedness were emphasized and should be included in future program theory. The authors identified synergistic effects, likely “essential ingredients,” and potential areas for improving this and similar interventions.

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Alessandro Quartiroli, Justine Vosloo, Leslee Fisher and Robert Schinke

Cultural competence, identified as the ability to understand other cultures and being aware of one’s own cultural assumptions, has been found to be important for sport psychology professionals (SPPs). In the current study, one of a few exploring the SPPs’ own perceived cultural competence, a sample of 203 SPPs completed an online survey examining the perceptions of their own levels of cultural competence. Most participants reported receiving formal training in cultural competence. However, this training was perceived as only moderately effective and only able to predict the reported level of the SPPs’ perceived cultural competence in a limited way. These results could be attributed to the reported lack of support for SPPs engaging in culturally centered self-reflective practice and to the limited role that these factors have played in training programs. Additional findings are described and discussed, along with recommendations for professional development and applied training.

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Sarah P. McLean, Christine M. Habeeb, Pete Coffee and Robert C. Eklund

Efficacy beliefs and communication are key constructs that have been targeted to develop task cohesion. This study’s purpose was to (a) examine whether collective efficacy, team-focused other-efficacy, and team-focused relation-inferred self-efficacy are predictive of task cohesion and (b) evaluate the possibility that communication mediates efficacy–task cohesion relationships. British university team-sport athletes (N = 250) completed questionnaires assessing efficacy beliefs, communication (i.e., positive conflict, negative conflict, and acceptance communication), and task cohesion (i.e., attractions to group, group integration). Data were subjected to a multigroup path analysis to test mediation hypotheses while also addressing potential differences across males and females. Across all athletes, collective efficacy and team-focused other-efficacy significantly predicted attractions to group and group integration directly. Positive conflict and acceptance communication significantly mediated relationships between efficacy (team-focused other-efficacy, collective efficacy) and cohesion (attractions to group, group integration). Findings suggest that enhancing athletes’ collective efficacy and team-focused efficacy beliefs will encourage communication factors affecting task cohesion.

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Kendra Nelson Ferguson and Craig Hall

Biofeedback is among the various self-regulation techniques that mental performance consultants can utilize in their practice with athletes. Biofeedback produces psychophysiological assessments in real time to enhance awareness of thoughts and emotions. Quantitatively, research shows that biofeedback can facilitate self-regulation, allowing an athlete to gain control over psychophysiological responses that could be detrimental to performance. With technology becoming a widespread tool in monitoring psychophysiological states, an exploration of consultants’ use of biofeedback, their perceptions of effectiveness, and limitations of their use was warranted to qualitatively evaluate efficiency of the tool. A qualitative descriptive approach was taken through semistructured interviews with 10 mental performance consultants. Inductive reasoning uncovered three themes: positive implications, practical limitations, and equipment options. With biofeedback, athletes have the ability to develop a deeper level of self-awareness and thereby facilitate the use of self-regulation strategies intended for optimal performance states and outcomes.

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Alex S. Ribeiro, João Pedro Nunes, Karina E. Coronado, Aluísio Andrade-Lima, Leandro dos Santos, Andreo F. Aguiar, Brad J. Schoenfeld and Edilson S. Cyrino

This study aimed to compare the effects of resistance training performed with low versus moderate loads on systemic resting blood pressure (BP) in older women. A total of 29 women (72.6 ± 5.1 years) were randomized into two groups: low load (LOW, n = 15) and moderate load (MOD, n = 14). An 8-week whole-body resistance training program was carried out 3 days/week (eight exercises, three sets, 10 or 15 repetition maximum). The LOW and MOD groups trained with a relative load of 15 and 10 repetition maximum, respectively. Outcome measures included resting systolic and diastolic BP. After 8 weeks, both groups presented significant changes (p < .05) in systolic BP (LOW = −3.0%; MOD = −4.6%) and mean BP (LOW = −1.9%; MOD = −3.1%). There was no change for diastolic BP in the posttest in both groups. The results suggest that low and moderate loads are equally effective for promoting decreases in resting BP in older women.

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Rachel A. Millstein, Jeff C. Huffman, Anne N. Thorndike, Melanie Freedman, Carlyn Scheu, Sonia Kim, Hermioni L. Amonoo, Margot Barclay and Elyse R. Park

Background: Positive psychological constructs (eg, optimism, positive affect) may help people engage in physical activity, though the details of these relationships and their directionality have not been studied in depth in people with cardiovascular risk factors. The objectives of this study were to use qualitative research to explore the relationships of positive psychological constructs with physical activity among people with metabolic syndrome. Methods: Participants with metabolic syndrome and low physical activity from an academic medical center completed semistructured phone interviews about associations between physical activity and positive psychological constructs, and perceptions about benefits, motivation, and barriers to physical activity. Results: The participants (n = 21) were predominantly older (mean age = 63 y) white (95.2%) women (61.9%). Engaging in physical activity was commonly associated with enjoyment, energy, relaxation, accomplishment, and determination. Experiencing positive psychological constructs like enjoyment, energy, connectedness, optimism, and determination also helped them engage in physical activity. Perceived benefits, facilitators, and barriers of physical activity engagement were noted. Conclusions: The participants at high risk for chronic diseases described many specific positive psychological constructs that both promote and result from physical activity. Testing ways to increase positive psychological constructs may be a novel way to help people at high risk of chronic diseases become more active.

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Elizabeth A. Schlenk, G. Kelley Fitzgerald, Joan C. Rogers, C. Kent Kwoh and Susan M. Sereika

A 6-month self-efficacy intervention was compared with attention-control intervention on physical activity, clinical outcomes, and mediators immediate postintervention and 6-month postintervention in 182 older adults with knee osteoarthritis and hypertension using a randomized controlled trial design. The intervention group received six weekly individual physical therapy sessions for lower-extremity exercise and fitness walking and nine biweekly nurse telephone counseling sessions. The attention-control group received six weekly and nine biweekly nurse telephone sessions on health topics. Lower-extremity exercise was assessed by e-diary; fitness walking was assessed by accelerometer and e-diary; blood pressure was assessed by automated monitor; function was assessed by performance-based tests and questionnaires; and pain, self-efficacy, and outcome expectancy were assessed by questionnaires. Self-reported lower-extremity exercise and fitness walking, function, pain, self-efficacy, and outcome expectancy showed significant group or group by time effects favoring intervention. The intervention did not improve physical activity by accelerometer and blood pressure. Mean minutes of fitness walking fell short of the 150 min/week goal.

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Nicole McCarthy, Kirsty Hope, Rachel Sutherland, Elizabeth Campbell, Rebecca Hodder, Luke Wolfenden and Nicole Nathan

Background: To determine Australian primary school principals’, teachers’, and parents’ attitudes to changing school uniform policies to allow students to wear sports uniforms every day and to assess associations between participant characteristics and their attitudes. A secondary aim was to identify principals’ and teachers’ perceived barriers to uniform changes. Methods: Cross-sectional surveys of principals, teachers, and parents of children in grades 2 to 3 (age 7–10 y) from 62 Australian primary schools (Oct 2017–Mar 2018) were undertaken. Mixed logistic regression analyses assessed the associations between participant characteristics and attitudes toward uniform changes. Results: In total, 73% of the principals (38/52) who responded reported that their school only allowed children to wear a sports uniform on sports days. Overall, 38% of the principals (18/47), 63% of the teachers (334/579), and 78% of the parents (965/1231) reported they would support a policy that allowed children to wear daily sports uniforms. The most commonly reported barrier was the perception that sports uniforms were not appropriate for formal occasions. Conclusions: Although the majority of the principals were not supportive of a change to a daily sports uniform, the majority of the teachers and parents were. Strategies to improve principal support may be required if broader adoption of physical activity–supporting uniforms is to be achieved.

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Leilani Madrigal

Mental toughness is a factor related to performance, better coping, and increased confidence. There has been a growing trend toward assessing mental toughness behaviorally. The purpose of this paper was to develop a behavioral assessment of mental toughness in volleyball. Following a five-stage process to develop a systematic observation instrument, the current study identified 10 mental toughness behaviors in volleyball, specifically, six behaviors occurring during a play and four behaviors after a play (i.e., when a point is scored from the opposing team). Furthermore, eight behaviors represent mentally tough actions, while two behaviors represent mentally weak actions. The results indicate that the behavioral checklist is a reliable systematic observation instrument. Coaches and certified mental performance consultants can benefit from using this checklist by discussing mental toughness and behaviors corresponding to mental toughness during game play, and then have a quantifiable way to track behaviors with individuals and volleyball teams.