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Jens Van Lier and Filip Raes

The way athletes prospect future success or failure following a single success or failure is called “generalization”. This study examined the roles of an abstract “why” vs. a concrete “how” processing style on athletes’ generalization to future performances and to their self-concept (N = 668). We hypothesized that athletes in the “why” condition would show more negative/positive generalization. We also explored the impact of how individuals in the “why” condition attributed their success or failure performance. There was no main difference between processing styles but athletes with more functional attributions showed more positive generalization and athletes with more dysfunctional attributions showed more negative generalization. These results show that attributions could be driving the effects of an abstract “why” processing style on generalization. For athletes with an elevated depression score it might be particularly important to focus on generalizations following success and train these athletes to make functional attributions.

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Trisha Patel and Neeru Jayanthi

Single sport specialization has been associated with injury risk and burnout. However, there is no known previous qualitative research regarding health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of single sport and multi-sport young athletes and their parents. In order to better understand the perceptions of these potential risks of youth sports specialization, a qualitative parent-child study of specialized young athletes was performed. Thirty-six families (50 young athletes and 42 parents) participated in this study by completing an interview about their sports participation. Twenty-seven of these families completed the PROMIS (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System) questionnaire, assessing quality of life. Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) scores were high in all young athlete and parent categories with no significant differences (p = .96) in quality of life between single (specialized) and multi-sport young athletes and their respective parents (p = .17). Qualitative analysis of interviews highlighted the positive perception of sports and parents’ concern regarding sports specialization. Thus, although no quality of life differences were found based on sport specialization, the highly positive quality of life scores suggest a benefit of sports despite specialization.

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Justine J. Reel, Leslie Podlog, Lindsey Hamilton, Lindsey Greviskes, Dana K. Voelker and Cara Gray

Dancers, like athletes, frequently endure injuries and disordered eating as a result of performance-specific demands. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between severe injuries and disordered eating from the perspectives of female professional dancers. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 female professional dancers ages 18–38 (M = 23; SD = 6.2) whose dance participation was suspended for 4–36 weeks (M = 12.69; SD = 10.09) due to a dance-related injury. We adopted a social constructivist stance to view the experiences of dancers through the lens of a phenomenon highly influenced by environmental and cultural factors. A thematic analysis yielded five themes including negative emotions associated with injury, anxiety and uncertainty around future involvement, modifications in nutritional intake (e.g., reduction of calories), coping with injury, and the need for an effective and holistic injury rehabilitation program.

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Sarah A. McGraw, Christopher R. Deubert, Holly Fernandez Lynch, Alixandra Nozzolillo, Lauren Taylor and I. Glenn Cohen

This qualitative study examined how NFL players and their family members characterized the impact of an NFL career on the mental and emotional health of NFL players. We interviewed 25 NFL players (23 former and 2 current) and 27 family members (24 wives and 3 others) to elicit players’ experiences during and following their time in the NFL. While players experienced positive outcomes from their careers, they also described important mental health challenges including feelings of depression, loneliness, and stress. Many of their concerns during their careers were linked to anxiety about job performance and job security. Post-career concerns were linked to loss of social identity and connections. Players had difficulty finding help for their concerns. We conclude with eight recommendations, including improved resources, confidentiality, and support.

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Matthew D. Bird, Graig M. Chow, Gily Meir and Jaison Freeman

This study investigated differences in stigmatization by others, self-stigma, and attitudes (value and discomfort) toward online counseling (OC) and face-to-face counseling (F2F), and the relationships between these variables, in college student-athletes (n = 101) and non-athletes (n = 101). Results revealed no differences in levels of stigmatization by others and self-stigma between student-athletes and non-athletes. Furthermore, both groups reported higher value, and less discomfort, in F2F compared to OC, while non-athletes reported higher levels of value in F2F compared to student-athletes. A multiple group path analysis revealed no difference in the relationship of the stigma and attitudes variables between the two groups. Stigmatization by others was a significant positive predictor of self-stigma and value in OC. In addition, self-stigma was a significant negative predictor of value in F2F, and a significant positive predictor of discomfort in F2F. The current findings have implications for university counseling centers and athletic departments.

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Frank E. DiLiberto, Deborah A. Nawoczenski and Jeff Houck

Ankle power dominates forward propulsion of gait, but midfoot power generation is also important for successful push-off. However, it is unclear if midfoot power generation increases or stays the same in response to propulsive activities that induce larger external loads and require greater ankle power. The purpose of this study was to examine ankle and midfoot power in healthy adults during progressively more demanding functional tasks. Multisegment foot motion (tibia, calcaneus, and forefoot) and ground reaction forces were recorded as participants (N = 12) walked, ascended a standard step, and ascended a high step. Ankle and midfoot positive peak power and positive total power, and the proportion of midfoot to ankle positive total power were calculated. One-way repeated-measures analyses of variance were conducted to evaluate differences across tasks. Main effects were found for ankle and midfoot peak and total powers (all Ps < .01), but not for the proportion of midfoot-to-ankle total power (P = .33). Ankle and midfoot power significantly increased across each task. Midfoot power increased in proportion to ankle power and in congruence to the external load of a task. Study findings may serve to inform multisegment foot modeling applications and internal mechanistic theories of normal and pathological foot function.

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Hin Fong Leong, Wing-Kai Lam, Wei Xuan Ng and Pui Wah Kong

This study aimed to investigate the effects of varying midsole hardness on center of pressure (COP) and perceived stability during basketball-specific tasks, as well as the correlation between COP and perception measurements. A total of 20 male basketball players performed 45° cutting and layup while wearing basketball shoes with soft and hard midsoles. COP trajectories were obtained from the Pedar insole system. Stability perceptions at the forefoot and rearfoot were assessed using 150-mm visual analogue scales. Results indicated greater COP mediolateral deviations in soft midsole compared with hard midsole during layup (soft: 16.6 [4.7] mm, hard: 15.8 [4.6] mm, P = .03) but not 45° cutting (soft: 15.7 [5.9] mm, hard: 15.8 [5.6] mm, P = .60). While 16 out of 20 participants preferred soft midsole, no significant difference in visual analogue scale ratings was found between shoes for both tested movements. There was no significant correlation between COP and perceived stability during layup or 45° cutting. In conclusion, midsole hardness of basketball shoes did not consistently affect mediolateral stability of the foot during 45° cutting and layup. Subjective perception alone cannot be used to indicate mediolateral deviation of the foot when executing basketball-specific maneuvers.

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Rand Wilcox, Travis J. Peterson and Jill L. McNitt-Gray

The paper reviews advances and insights relevant to comparing groups when the sample sizes are small. There are conditions under which conventional, routinely used techniques are satisfactory. But major insights regarding outliers, skewed distributions, and unequal variances (heteroscedasticity) make it clear that under general conditions they provide poor control over the type I error probability and can have relatively poor power. In practical terms, important differences among groups can be missed and poorly characterized. Many new and improved methods have been derived that are aimed at dealing with the shortcomings of classic methods. To provide a conceptual basis for understanding the practical importance of modern methods, the paper reviews some modern insights related to why methods based on means can perform poorly. Then some strategies for dealing with nonnormal distributions and unequal variances are described. For brevity, the focus is on comparing 2 independent groups or 2 dependent groups based on the usual difference scores. The paper concludes with comments on issues to consider when choosing from among the methods reviewed in the paper.

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Mary Hellen Morcelli, Dain Patrick LaRoche, Luciano Fernandes Crozara, Nise Ribeiro Marques, Camilla Zamfolini Hallal, Mauro Gonçalves and Marcelo Tavella Navega

The aim was to compare torque and rate of torque development of lower limb muscles between older women with functional and slow gait speeds to determine which muscle group is the best predictor of functional gait speed, and to establish strength thresholds needed for functional walking speed. Torque and rate of torque development of hip, knee, and ankle muscles were measured in older women who were divided in 2 groups according to gait speed: slow gait speed (<1.22 m·s−1) and functional gait speed (≥1.22 m·s−1). For each muscle group, 3 maximal isometric contractions were performed, and peak torque and rate of torque development were recorded. Older women with slow gait speed had lower peak torque than older women with functional gait speed for hip extension (28%), knee flexion (15%), knee extension (14%), and plantar flexion (16%) (all Ps < .05). Older women with slow gait speed had lower peak rate of torque development for hip flexion (29%), hip extension (37%), knee flexion (34%), knee extension (33%), and plantar flexion (19%) (all Ps < .05). Knee extension peak rate of torque development and hip extension peak torque were the better predictors of functional gait speed with thresholds of 2.96 N·m·s−1·kg−1 and 1.26 N·m·kg−1, respectively.