In this case study, the authors examined media representations of two Chinese female athletes—state athlete Ding Ning and professional athlete Li Na—in China, a nation undergoing social transformation and a sport-reform initiative. Analyzing stories from two Chinese web portals (i.e., Sina and Tencent), the authors analyzed how (a) gender, (b) nationalism, and (c) the individualism–collectivism continuum entered into media representations of these two female athletes. Notable differences emerged in all three conceptual areas. A fourth theme, which the authors have identified as the commercialized athlete, also emerged. Possible explanations and implications are discussed.
Qingru Xu and Peggy J. Kreshel
Karl Spiteri, Kate Grafton, John Xerri de Caro and David Broom
The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) is a widely used self-reported physical activity (PA) measure developed to allow for international cross-country comparisons. Due to its unavailability, the aim of this study was to translate the IPAQ-long to Maltese and undertake reliability testing. The IPAQ-long English version was translated into Maltese following the IPAQ guidelines, which included backwards translation. Maltese-speaking participants, aged between 18 and 69 years, were recruited through convenience sampling (n = 170). Participants completed the IPAQ-long twice within an 8- to 48-hr period. PA was calculated in MET minutes per week, and reliability was calculated using the Spearman correlation, intraclass correlation coefficient, concordance correlation coefficient, and Bland–Altman plots. A total of 155 participants completed the questionnaire at two time points. Spearman correlation was .83 (.76–.88) for total PA and .84 (.77–.89) for total sitting time. The intraclass correlation coefficient was .83 (.76–.88) and the concordance correlation coefficient was .75–.87 for total PA. The lowest reliability was for total transport, with a concordance correlation coefficient of .21−.45. Bland–Altman plots highlight that 95% of the differences fell within 2 SDs from the mean. Since the Maltese IPAQ-long has similar reliability to the English version, the authors recommend that health care professionals and PA practitioners use this tool when examining population-level PA among Maltese-speaking individuals.
Kasper Salin, Anna Kankaanpää, Xiaolin Yang, Tuija H. Tammelin, Costan G. Magnussen, Risto Telama, Nina Hutri-Kähönen, Jorma S.A. Viikari, Olli T. Raitakari and Mirja Hirvensalo
Background: To examine if major life changes over a 4-year period among 34- to 49-year-old adults (mean = 41.8, SD = 5.0) were associated with a change in physical activity in men (37.7%) and women (62.3%). Methods: Daily steps and aerobic steps (steps that lasted for at least 10 min without interruption at a pace of >60 steps/min) were collected from 1051 participants in 2007 and 2011. Changes in marital status, work status, and residence and the birth of a child were determined from both time points. A latent change score model was used to examine mean changes in daily total steps, aerobic steps, and nonaerobic steps (total steps minus aerobic steps). Results: Women who had a first child in the 4-year period had a decrease in their nonaerobic steps (P = .001). Men who divorced in the 4-year period had a decrease in their nonaerobic steps (P = .020), whereas women who recoupled decreased their total steps (P = .030). Conclusions: Counseling for parents having a first child on how to increase physical activity in their everyday life could potentially have an influence on an individual’s physical activity.
John F. Gaski
Over the past 3 decades or so, some variation and revision have been introduced into the recording, reporting, and interpretation of the prime historical benchmark of individual golf achievement: number of established major tournaments won. In the interest of accuracy, consistency, and even equity, some analytic record-keeping suggestions are proffered here, based on coherence and logic, toward presenting the history of golf’s major championships in the fairest possible way. Idiosyncrasies of that historical sequence mean that the resolution is not obvious and more taxonomic work remains to be done. However, acceptance of the principles and conventions proposed herein may move the golf history culture and even basic golf chronicling closer to advantageous closure. One competitive implication of this reanalysis applies, significantly, to the total of “majors” won by historical greats Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Jones, and Tiger Woods.
Jennifer A. Scarduzio, Christina S. Walker, Nicky Lewis and Anthony M. Limperos
This study examined how participants responded to incidents of athlete-perpetrated intimate partner violence in two separate contexts: one featuring an athlete from a league that is at peak popularity among sports audiences (National Football League; NFL) and one featuring an athlete from an up-and-coming league that currently has a lower standing in professional sports (Ultimate Fighting Championship League; UFC). The authors used the social ecological model to qualitatively analyze participant perceptions about athlete-perpetrated intimate partner violence composite news packages. For the purpose of this study specifically, they centered on 1,124 responses to one of the open-ended qualitative questions asked in a larger quantitative experiment. The authors found that the participants most frequently attributed the perpetrator’s behavior to either individual or relationship-level reasons and that there were differences in the level attributed for participants of different races and ethnicities. They also determined that the participants were more likely to ascribe the violence to the suspect’s job (i.e., athlete) if they were a UFC fighter than an NFL player. Theoretical extensions of the social ecological model and practical implications for journalists, the media, and fans are offered.
Daniel Yang and Kathy Babiak
A specific form of corporate social responsibility—corporate philanthropy—has received little attention in sport scholarship despite the increased formalization of this business function in practice. Specifically, few studies have explored the institutional mechanisms that influence the corporate philanthropy of professional sport teams. Given that teams receive simultaneous institutional pressures from their league and from the community in which they operate, this study examined how the presence of multiple peers from different fields affected teams in terms of determining the appropriate level of philanthropic activity. The hypotheses were tested through a longitudinal analysis of philanthropic data from team foundations in four professional leagues in the United States from 2005 to 2017. The authors found that teams were more likely to be affected by the philanthropic giving levels of league peers than local peers. Overall, this study provides a better understanding of simultaneous institutional pressures shaping the philanthropic activities of professional sport teams.
Xiyao Shan, Pavlos Evangelidis, Takaki Yamagishi, Shun Otsuka, Fumiko Tanaka, Shigenobu Shibata and Yasuo Kawakami
This study investigated (a) site- and direction-dependent variations of passive triceps surae aponeurosis stiffness and (b) the relationships between aponeurosis stiffness and muscle strength and walking performance in older individuals. Seventy-nine healthy older adults participated in this study. Shear wave velocities of the triceps surae aponeuroses at different sites and in two orthogonal directions were obtained in a prone position at rest using supersonic shear imaging. The maximal voluntary isometric contraction torque of the plantar flexors and normal (preferred) and fast (fastest possible) walking speeds (5-m distance) were also measured. The shear wave velocities of the adjoining aponeuroses were weakly associated with plantar flexion torque (r = .23–.34), normal (r = .26), and fast walking speed (r = .25). The results show clear spatial variations and anisotropy of the triceps surae aponeuroses stiffness in vivo, and the aponeurosis stiffness was associated with physical ability in older adults.
Jennifer T. Coletti, Veronica Allan and Luc J. Martin
A child’s first contact with media and culture typically comes from books they are exposed to in the home and at school. The narratives presented contribute to the early reinforcement of gender roles and norms and can greatly influence the way that young girls perceive and experience sport. The purpose of this study was to explore the narratives within sport-based books geared toward a young female audience to determine the extent to which they promote the engagement of girls in sport. A pragmatic literature search was conducted to obtain books that met our inclusion criteria. Books (n = 28) were analyzed based on the age of their intended audience (aged 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12 years) using thematic narrative analysis. Although the authors promoted the engagement of girls in sport, underlying gender stereotypes were nevertheless salient. Across the books, themes involved the emphasis of “feminine” sports as a context for diversity and learning, the need to understand development as a process, the importance of relationships, and implications pertaining to perceptions of capability as female athletes. Most importantly, the application of a critical feminist lens enabled us to identify an underlying theme—the reinforcement of gender stereotypes—that permeated the storylines and served to undermine the potential adaptive messaging intended by authors. These findings suggest the need for greater attention toward the complexity of female sport and a cultural shift in thinking toward gender equity rather than simply increasing sport access for female participants.
Emily A. Roper and José A. Santiago
The purpose of this study was to examine how and how often athletic girls were represented on the cover art of young adult (YA) sport fiction. In this research, 154 YA sport fiction books were analyzed using quantitative content analysis. Using existing sport research and theory focused on women’s representation in sport media, the researchers developed a coding scheme to assess cover art for each of the following categories: (a) presence and racial representation of female character/s on cover; (b) portrayal of female body on cover (whole body, partial body/with head, or partial body/without head); (c) portrayal of female character as active or passive; (d) portrayal of female character in or out of athletic uniform; (e) portrayal of female character in or out of the sport setting; (f) presence of sport equipment; and (g) type of cover. Findings revealed that 81% of the book covers had a female character in which 29% of the covers displayed the whole body, 47% displayed partial body/with head, and 23% displayed partial body/with no head of the female character. Only 0.06% of the book covers had a female character of color. Approximately 31% of the female characters were displayed in active positioning, 58% in athletic attire, and 44% in the sport setting. Of the books reviewed, 55% displayed equipment on the cover. The findings indicate that athletic girls have few images on YA sport fiction cover art that accurately represent their athleticism, and there is a clear absence of diverse representation. It is critical that those responsible for the design and layout of book covers clearly represent active females in action, in uniform, and in the sport context.
Craig Pickering, Dylan Hicks and John Kiely
Elite sprint performances typically peak during an athlete’s 20s and decline thereafter with age. The mechanisms underpinning this sprint performance decline are often reported to be strength-based in nature with reductions in strength capacities driving increases in ground contact time and decreases in stride lengths and frequency. However, an as-of-yet underexplored aspect of Masters sprint performance is that of age-related degradation in neuromuscular infrastructure, which manifests as a decline in both strength and movement coordination. Here, the authors explore reductions in sprint performance in Masters athletes in a holistic fashion, blending discussion of strength and power changes with neuromuscular alterations along with mechanical and technical age-related alterations. In doing so, the authors provide recommendations to Masters sprinters—and the aging population, in general—as to how best to support sprint ability and general function with age, identifying nutritional interventions that support performance and function and suggesting useful programming strategies and injury-reduction techniques.