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Michelle Ogrodnik, Jillian Halladay, Barbara Fenesi, Jennifer Heisz and Katholiki Georgiades

Background: Participation in physical activity (PA) is a modifiable factor that contributes to academic success, yet the optimal dose (ie, frequency) and mechanisms underlying the effect require further exploration. Methods: Using data from 19,886 elementary and 11,238 secondary school students across Ontario, Canada, this study examined associations between PA participation frequency, academic achievement, and inattention and hyperactivity. Results: Among elementary students, there was a positive association between PA frequency and academic achievement. Participating in 1 to 2 days per week of PA related to higher academic achievement compared with no days, whereas 7 days per week had the largest associations. For secondary students, a minimum of 3 to 4 days per week was associated with higher academic achievement with no significant benefit of additional days. Indirect effects of inattention and hyperactivity were found for both groups, suggesting that the benefits of PA on academic achievement may be partly explained by reductions in inattention and hyperactivity, especially for secondary school students. Conclusion: Students may experience academic benefits from PA even if they are not meeting the guidelines of exercising daily. These benefits may occur, in part, through reductions in inattention and hyperactivity. Further work is needed to determine the temporality and mechanism of these associations.

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Tanya Tripathi, Stacey C. Dusing, Peter E. Pidcoe, Yaoying Xu, Mary S. Shall and Daniel L. Riddle

Aims: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “parents to incorporate supervised, awake ‘prone play’ in their infant’s routine to support motor development and minimize the risk of plagiocephaly”. The purpose of this feasibility study was to compare usual care to a reward contingency–based intervention, developed to increase prone tolerance and improve motor skills. Methods: Ten full-term infants, 3–6- months old, with poor prone tolerance were randomized to either the Education group or Reward contingency group. Each group participated in three parent education sessions and 15 intervention sessions, over the period of three weeks. Infants in the Reward contingency group used the Prone Play Activity Center, a technology developed to reinforce motor behavior of infants in prone position. Intervention frequency and parent feedback data determined the feasibility of the interventions. Results: Infants in the Reward contingency group practiced a median of 12 of the 15 anticipated intervention sessions in the Prone Play Activity Center. These infants used the device for a mean of 18 minutes per day. Parents of infants in the Education group practiced a median of 10 sessions of the 15 anticipated intervention sessions. Conclusion: The reward contingency–based intervention is feasible for use in a future clinical trial with some modifications.

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Kendall J. Sharp, Charles C. South, Cherise Chin Fatt, Madhukar H. Trivedi and Chad D. Rethorst

Exercise reduces depressive symptoms and improves physical health in persons with depression. However, the interventions implemented in research studies require significant resources, limiting adoption into clinical practice and suggesting the need for more efficient interventions. In two nonrandomized pilot studies, the authors evaluated the feasibility of a multicomponent intervention (group educational sessions, Fitbit, and access to exercise facility) in adult persons with depression and breast cancer survivors with depression. The participants in both pilot studies completed 12 weeks of group educational sessions to increase physical activity levels, were provided with self-monitoring devices, and were provided access to on-site exercise facilities. Depressive symptoms significantly decreased postintervention, and over 90% of the participants reported that they had benefited from the intervention. These results indicate that implementing a multicomponent intervention is feasible and may reduce depressive symptoms and improve other psychosocial outcomes.

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Audrey G. Evers, Jessica A Somogie, Ian L. Wong, Jennifer D. Allen and Adolfo G. Cuevas

The objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a pilot mindfulness program for student athletes by assessing mental health, mindfulness ability, and perceived stress before and after the intervention. The mindfulness program was adapted from a program developed at the University of Southern California. The four-session intervention taught the basics of mindfulness, self-care skills, and guided meditations. Participants completed surveys before and after the intervention. Mindfulness ability was assessed with the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale, mental health was assessed with a modified Short Form Health Survey, and stress was assessed with the Perceived Stress Scale. After the intervention, participants reported improvement in mindfulness ability, t(28) = −2.61, p =  .014, mental health, t(28)  =  −2.87, p =  .008, and a trending improvement in perceived stress, t(28)  =  1.86, p =  .073. A short mindfulness program may be effective for improving mental health and mindfulness ability in collegiate student athletes.

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Kim Gammage, Alyson Crozier, Alison Ede, Christopher Hill, Sean Locke, Eric Martin, Desi McEwan, Kathleen Mellano, Eva Pila, Matthew Stork and Svenja Wolf

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Stephanie L. Barrett and Trent A. Petrie

Although researchers have examined eating disorders in female athletes, few such studies have been done with athletes who are retired, and even fewer have been quantitative. Thus, the authors empirically tested an established eating disorder theoretical model with 218 former NCAA Division-I female collegiate athletes who had been retired for 2–6 years. In retirement, participants completed measures of general sociocultural pressures related to body and appearance, thin-ideal internalization, body dissatisfaction, dietary restraint, negative affect, and bulimic symptomatology. Through structural equation modeling, the authors examined the direct and indirect relationships among the latent variables while controlling for body mass index and years since retirement. The model fit the data well, supporting the hypothesized direct and indirect relationships among the variables and explaining 54% of the variance in bulimic symptomatology. Despite no longer being exposed to sport pressures that contribute to eating disorders, female athletes experience such symptoms long into retirement.

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Laura C. Healy, Nikos Ntoumanis and Calum A. Arthur

Using a person-centered approach, the aim of this study was to examine how student-athletes’ motives for multiple-goal pursuit relate to indices of well- and ill-being. Student-athletes (N = 362) from British universities identified the most important sporting and academic goals that they were pursuing over the academic year. The participants rated their extrinsic, introjected, identified, and intrinsic goal motives for each goal and completed measures of well- and ill-being. Latent profile analysis revealed six distinct profiles of goal motives, with variations in both the strength of motives and the motivational quality. Follow-up analyses revealed between-profile differences for well- and ill-being; students with more optimal goal motive profiles reported higher and lower well- and ill-being, respectively, than those with less optimal goal motives. To experience well-being benefits when pursuing multiple goals, student-athletes should strive for their academic and sporting goals with high autonomous and low controlled goal motives.