A majority of U.S. children age 6–17 years do not meet the recommended 60 min of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. Girls are less likely to meet these daily physical activity guidelines than boys. Following a call for greater gender-relevant physical activity programming, Aggie Play, an after-school physical activity program, engaged female student athletes to serve as active role models who lead girls through high-energy activities twice a week over a school year. The purpose of this study was to explore how Aggie Play affected girls’ self-efficacy and expected enjoyment for physical activity, time spent in various physical activity intensities during free play, and fitness, relative to a control group. Results revealed that the girls participating in Aggie Play increased ratings of physical activity self-efficacy and enjoyment compared with girls at a control site. Aggie Play girls also demonstrated greater improvements on the muscle-endurance test than girls at a control site. Results are consistent with prior gender-relevant physical activity and physical education research. This study extends prior results by documenting the benefits of gender-relevant physical activity programming when led by active female role models.
Phillip Post and Rebecca Palacios
Melissa N. Galea Holmes, John A. Weinman and Lindsay M. Bearne
Intermittent claudication is debilitating leg pain affecting older people with peripheral arterial disease, which is improved by regular walking. This study evaluated associations between psychosocial variables and 6-min walk distance (6MWD) to identify factors that motivate walking. A total of 142 individuals with intermittent claudication (116 males; M age = 66.9 years [SD = 10.2]) completed cross-sectional assessments of sociodemographics, walking treatment beliefs and intention (Theory of Planned Behaviour), illness perceptions (Revised Illness Perceptions Questionnaire), and 6MWD. Multiple linear regression was used to evaluate relationships among psychosocial variables (treatment beliefs and illness perceptions) and outcomes (walking intention and 6MWD). Theory of planned behavior constructs were associated with intention (R = .72, p < .001) and 6MWD (R = .08, p < .001). Illness perceptions were associated with 6MWD only (R = .27, p < .001). Intention (β = 0.26), treatment control (β = −0.27), personal control (β = 0.32), coherence (β = 0.18), and risk factor attributions (β = 0.22; all ps < .05) were independently associated with 6MWD. Treatment beliefs and illness perceptions associated with intention and 6MWD in people with intermittent claudication are potential intervention targets.
Sandra Silva-Santos, Amanda Santos, Michael Duncan, Susana Vale and Jorge Mota
Introduction: Adequate gross motor coordination is essential for children participating in age-related physical activities and has an important role in maintaining sufficient physical activity levels during the life course. Aim: To examine the association between moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and gross motor coordination during sedentary behavior in early childhood (ages 3–6 y). Methods: The sample comprised 209 children aged 3–6 y. Gross motor coordination was assessed according to the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC-2). The battery to assess gross motor coordination comprised the aiming and catching, and balance components. MVPA was measured by accelerometry worn for 7 consecutive days (Monday to Sunday). Results: Our data indicated that 31.5% of the sample had low, 32.5% medium, and 36.0% high gross motor coordination. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that MVPA was positively associated with gross motor coordination, adjusted for gender and sedentary behavior. Conclusions: Preschoolers with high gross motor coordination spend more time in MVPA. Gross motor coordination development should therefore be a key strategy in childhood interventions aiming to promote physical activity.
Ernest Boakye-Dankwa, Anthony Barnett, Nancy A. Pachana, Gavin Turrell and Ester Cerin
To examine associations between perceived destination accessibility within different distances from home and self-reported overall amounts of walking for different purposes among older adults (aged ≥ 65 years) in Brisbane, Australia (N = 793) and Hong Kong, China (N = 484). Perceived neighborhood destination accessibility types were derived from latent class analysis using comparable measures of perceived distance to 12 destinations from epidemiological studies in the two cities. Associations of perceived destination accessibility with measures of within-neighborhood walking were also estimated in Hong Kong participants. Better perceived destination accessibility was positively associated with the likelihood of walking in Brisbane participants only. Perceived destination accessibility within a short distance from home (5-min walk) was negatively related to the amount of within-neighborhood walking for transport in Hong Kong residents who walked. Our findings suggest that providing moderate-to-high, but not extreme, levels of destination accessibility may be optimal for the promotion of walking in older community dwellers.
Stefanie Hüttermann, Paul R. Ford, A. Mark Williams, Matyas Varga and Nicholas J. Smeeton
Over the last decade, research on the visual focus of attention has become increasingly popular in psychological science. The focus of attention has been shown to be important in fast team-sport games. The authors developed a method that measures the extent of the attentional focus and perceptual capabilities during performance of a sport-specific task. The participants were required to judge different player configurations on their left and right sides with varying visual angles between the stimuli. In keeping with the notion that the focus of attention is smaller than the visual field, attentional performance was poorest at the wider viewing angles compared with perceptual performance. Moreover, the team-sport players were better able to enlarge their attentional focus and make correct decisions more frequently than individual athletes, particularly when a motor response was required. The findings provide a new perspective, dissociating the attentional and perceptual processes that affect decision making under various response modes.
Dalia Mickeviciene, Renata Rutkauskaite, Dovile Valanciene, Diana Karanauskiene, Marius Brazaitis and Albertas Skurvydas
The aim of the study was to establish whether there were differences in speed–accuracy movement learning strategies between children, young adults, and older adults. A total of 30 boys, 30 young adult men, and 30 older men were seated in a special chair at a table with a Dynamic Parameter Analyzer 1. Participants had to perform a speed–accuracy task with the right-dominant hand. It may be assumed that the motor variables of children are more prone to change during the fast learning process than those of young adults and older adults and that the development of internal models is more changeable in children than in young adults and the older adults during the fast adaptation-based learning process.
Laura St. Germain, Amanda M. Rymal and David J. Hancock
Sport participants continually seek methods to hone their skills and achieve expert performance. One means to achieve this is through the use of observational learning (OL). The Functions of Observational Learning Questionnaire (FOLQ) was created to measure the types of OL athletes used. The data presented herein builds from prior research in which the use of the FOLQ was extended to coaches and officials. The researchers included the following open-ended question: “Do you observe others/self for anything not addressed above?” Responses to this question, however, have yet to be reported. As such, the purpose of this study was to analyze participants’ responses to understand how coaches and officials use observational learning. Many identified codes encompassed ideas already included within the FOLQ; however, new coding categories emerged. Specifically, coaches reported using observational learning for Self-Reflection, officials reported using observational learning for Self-Presentation, and both groups reported using observational learning to improve Communication. These results demonstrate the importance of OL to coaches’ and officials’ development. Further, the results highlight that the FOLQ might overlook coaches’ and officials’ uses of OL. Regardless, the various uses of OL ought to be included in coaching and officiating education programs to foster elite performance.
Kevin A. Becker, Ayana F. Georges and Christopher A. Aiken
Empirical findings consistently suggest that an external focus of attention leads to superior performance when compared to an internal focus by encouraging more automatic processing. However, for certain skills (e.g., gymnastics routines) it can be challenging to identify a meaningful external focus cue. A related line of research suggests that focusing on the general feeling of a movement (i.e., holistic focus) may also be useful in avoiding conscious control of movements. The purpose of this study was to determine how an internal focus (INT), external focus (EXT), and holistic focus (HOL) impact the performance of a standing long jump. Participants (N = 27) completed two baseline jumps followed by two jumps in each focus condition. Jump distance was analyzed in a 6 (Order) × 4 (Focus) mixed ANOVA. Results indicated a significant main effect of focus (p < .001), with EXT and HOL resulting in farther jumps than INT and baseline conditions (p-values < .05). EXT and HOL did not differ significantly from each other, and INT did not differ significantly from baseline. The findings suggest that a holistic focus can be another effective means of avoiding conscious control of movement when an external focus is not practical or desired.
Natalie M. Golaszewski and John B. Bartholomew
Research suggests 5 forms of social support: companionship, emotional, informational, instrumental, and validation. Despite this, existing measures of social support for physical activity are limited to emotional, companionship, and instrumental support. The purpose was to develop the Physical Activity and Social Support Scale (PASSS) with subscales that reflected all 5 forms. Participants (N = 506, mean age = 34.3 yr) who were active at least twice per week completed a 235-item questionnaire assessing physical activity behaviors, social support for physical activity, general social support, and other psychosocial questions. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to develop and validate the PASSS. Exploratory factor analysis supported a 5-factor, 20-item model, χ2(100) = 146.22, p < .05, root mean square error of approximation = .05. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated good fit, Satorra–Bentler χ2(143) = 199.57, p < .001, root mean square error of approximation = .04, comparative-fit index = .97, standardized root mean square residual = .06. Findings support the PASSS to measure all 5 forms for physical activity.