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Artur Direito, Joseph J. Murphy, Matthew Mclaughlin, Jacqueline Mair, Kelly Mackenzie, Masamitsu Kamada, Rachel Sutherland, Shannon Montgomery, Trevor Shilton and on behalf of the ISPAH Early Career Network

Increasing population levels of physical activity (PA) can assist in achieving the United Nations sustainable development goals, benefiting multiple sectors and contributing to global prosperity. Practices and policies to increase PA levels exist at the subnational, national, and international levels. In 2018, the World Health Organization launched the first Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA). The GAPPA provides guidance through a framework of effective and feasible policy actions for increasing PA, and requires engagement and advocacy from a wide spectrum of stakeholders for successful implementation of the proposed actions. Early career professionals, including researchers, practitioners, and policymakers, can play a major role with helping “all people being regularly active” by contributing to 4 overarching areas: (1) generation—of evidence, (2) dissemination—of key messages and evidence, (3) implementation—of the evidence-based actions proposed in the GAPPA, and (4) contributing to advocacy for robust national action plans on PA. The contribution of early career professionals can be achieved through 5 pathways: (1) research, (2) workplace/practice, (3) business, (4) policy, and (5) professional and public opinion. Recommendations of how early career professionals can contribute to the generation, dissemination, and implementation of the evidence and actions proposed by the GAPPA are provided.

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Priscila Tamplain, E. Kipling Webster, Ali Brian and Nadia C. Valentini

Assessment of the motor domain is a critical aspect of understanding motor development. Measurement of motor development is the baseline to understand potential delays and to promote the tools for change and improvement of this domain. This paper aims to reflect on the construct of motor development and the process of assessing motor performance. We review the use of assessments in motor development research and discuss issues of validity, reliability, sensitivity, and specificity. We appraise selected assessments, describe how the use of assessments changed over the periods of study in motor development, and examine the contemporary status of assessments and its applications. Finally, and most importantly, we provide suggestions and recommendations for future directions in the field, as well as pose important questions for researchers and practitioners to consider when selecting, using, and interpreting assessment results. In light of the contemporary view of motor development and the increasing focus on health applications, we recommend the use of screening tools, short forms, and technology, as well as encouraging the use of and more research on motor development assessments in childhood.

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Akio Kubota, Alison Carver and Takemi Sugiyama

This cross-sectional study examined associations of local social engagement with walking and sitting, and whether these associations were modified by local environmental attributes. Older residents (aged 65–84 years, n = 849), recruited from a regional city in Japan, reported walking frequency, sitting time, local social engagement, and local environmental attributes. Walk Score® was also used as an environmental measure. Analysis of data from 705 participants found that engaging in community activities was significantly associated with more frequent walking, but not with prolonged sitting. Interaction analyses between social engagement and environmental attributes did not show any significant interactions, suggesting that promoting local social engagement may increase walking frequency among older adults, regardless of local environmental characteristics. Community-level social initiatives that encourage older adults to participate in local meetings, events, and activities may be an effective physical activity promotion strategy among older adults.

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Kylie McNeill, Natalie Durand-Bush and Pierre-Nicolas Lemyre

While coaches are considered at risk of experiencing burnout, there is an absence of intervention studies addressing this syndrome. The purpose of this qualitative study was to conduct a self-regulation intervention with five Canadian developmental (n = 2) and elite (n = 3) sport coaches (three men, two women) experiencing moderate to high levels of burnout and examine the perceived impact of this intervention on their self-regulation capacity and experiences of burnout and well-being. The content analysis of the coaches’ outtake interviews and five bi-weekly journals revealed that all five of them learned to self-regulate more effectively by developing various competencies (e.g., strategic planning for their well-being, self-monitoring) and strategies (e.g., task delegation, facilitative self-talk). Four of the coaches also perceived improvements in their symptoms of burnout and well-being. Sport psychology interventions individualized for coaches are a promising means for helping them manage burnout and enhance their overall functioning.

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Sofia W. Manta, Paula F. Sandreschi, Thiago S. Matias, Camila Tomicki and Tânia R.B. Benedetti

This study aimed to investigate the clustering patterns of physical activity, sedentary time (ST), and breaks in ST, and the association between the identified clusters at risk for metabolic syndrome associated with obesity in older adults. Participants included 212 users of community health centers in Brazil. A questionnaire about sociodemographic characteristics was used to describe the sample, and physical activity, ST, and breaks in ST were evaluated using accelerometers. Waist circumference was measured as an indicator of the risk for metabolic syndrome. A two-step cluster analysis and logistic regression analysis were conducted. The following four clusters were identified: sitters (37.7%), inactive (28.3%), active (25.5%), and all-day sitters/lightly active (8.5%). Participants in the active cluster were 60% less likely to be at risk for metabolic syndrome. This study may contribute to a comprehensive understanding of which older adult groups need more attention in the context of community health centers.

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Freja Gheysen, Karel Herman and Delfien Van Dyck

Objective: To investigate whether the relationship of neighborhood environmental factors with physical activity (PA) is moderated by cognitive functioning in Belgian older adults. Methods: Seventy-one older adults completed validated questionnaires on PA and environmental perceptions, wore an accelerometer, and completed a computerized assessment of cognitive functioning. Moderated linear regression analyses were conducted in SPSS 24.0. Results: Overall cognitive functioning significantly moderated the associations of traffic safety and street connectivity with PA. Detailed analyses showed that these factors were only positively associated with PA in older adults with lower cognitive functioning. In addition, particularly, performance on tests assessing visuospatial and episodic memory moderated these associations. Discussion: Living in traffic-safe neighborhoods with short and many alternative routes might motivate older adults with lower cognitive functioning to be active. As such, the increase in PA might improve their cognitive abilities. This knowledge is crucial for health practitioners to develop effective PA promotion initiatives.

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Ashley A. Hansen, Joanne E. Perry, John W. Lace, Zachary C. Merz, Taylor L. Montgomery and Michael J. Ross

Evidence for the mechanisms of change by which sport psychology interventions enhance performance is limited and treatment monitoring and outcomes measures would assist in establishing evidence-based practices. The present paper fills a gap in sport psychology literature by demonstrating the development and validation of a new measure (Sport Psychology Outcomes and Research Tool; SPORT). Study 1 described test construction and pilot item selection with 73 collegiate student-athletes. Twenty-three pilot items contributed unique variance while maintaining the original constructs and were selected from 80 initial items. In Study 2, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted with collegiate student-athletes (n = 220), revealing a 17-item, four-factor model measuring Athlete Wellbeing, Self-Regulation, Performance Satisfaction, and Sport-Related Distress. Concurrent validity was supported through correlational analyses. Overall, results supported the SPORT as a new transtheoretical tool for monitoring effectiveness and outcomes of sport psychology interventions.

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Brian J. Foster and Graig M. Chow

Well-being research conducted in competitive athletics has been marred by the lack of a context-specific measurement instrument. The purpose of this study was to adapt the Mental Health Continuum – Short Form (MHC-SF) to create a sport-specific well-being instrument, the Sport Mental Health Continuum—Short Form (Sport MHC-SF), and test its initial psychometric properties. Participants were 287 collegiate athletes from a variety of sports. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) determined a three-factor structure of sport well-being, consisting of subjective, psychological, and social factors, as the model of best fit. Internal consistency reliabilities of the subscales exceeded .88. Moderate positive correlations were found between Sport MHC-SF subscales and quality of life indices, notably physical and emotional quality of life, demonstrating convergent validity. The Sport MHC-SF will facilitate empirical research by providing a more accurate and comprehensive measurement of well-being for an athletic population.

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Jessica Ross and Peter D. MacIntyre

Flow is a desirable state of consciousness and absorption in an optimally challenging activity. Prior research has investigated individual differences in flow. The present study investigates flow by contrasting physical versus mental activities, using a mixed-methods, sequential explanatory design. The sample from the quantitative phase included 205 undergraduate university students assessed on measures of personality, difficulties in emotion regulation, and flow. The big-five traits intellect and conscientiousness, as well as the emotion regulation subscale “lack of emotional clarity” predicted flow during mental activities, but unexpectedly no variables significantly predicted physical flow activities. The second phase used semi-structured interviews with 10 participants. Analyses of the interviews helped further explain the statistical findings, revealing four main themes: role of stress, source of guilt, presence of others, and satisfaction and fulfillment. We conclude that flow is especially relevant in physical activities which have advantages over mental activities in opportunities to experience flow.

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Luke Wilkins, Jen Sweeney, Zoella Zaborski, Carl Nelson, Simon Tweddle, Eldre Beukes and Peter Allen

The purpose of the present study was to address perceptions towards Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in soccer. Twenty-four male, elite academy soccer players (M age = 20.04) completed a custom-made questionnaire which included education on CBT. The results found that: i) initially, only 8% of players had heard of CBT whilst only 4% of players knew what CBT was, ii) players strongly agreed that CBT should be offered to all players, iii) not knowing how/where to seek help was identified as the main barrier to CBT, iv) players indicated a preference for one-to-one and face-to-face CBT, as opposed to small-group or online-CBT, and v) players perceived they would receive most support from family/friends, and least support from teammates, if they were to undertake CBT. These findings demonstrate that whilst initial awareness and knowledge of CBT is low, general perceptions towards CBT are positive once athletes are educated on the area.