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William McTeer and James E. Curtis

This study examines the relationship between physical activity in sport and feelings of well-being, testing alternative interpretations of the relationship between these two variables. It was expected that there would be positive relationships between physical activity on the one hand and physical fitness, feelings of well-being, social interaction in the sport and exercise environment, and socioeconomic status on the other hand. It was also expected that physical fitness, social interaction, and socioeconomic status would be positively related to psychological well-being. Further, it was expected that any positive zero-order relationship of physical activity and well-being would be at least in part a result of the conjoint effects of the other variables. The analyses were conducted separately for the male and female subsamples of a large survey study of Canadian adults. The results, after controls, show a modest positive relationship of physical activity and well-being for males but no such relationship for females. The predicted independent effects of the control factors obtained for both males and females. Interpretations of the results are discussed.

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James E. Curtis and Philip G. White

The SSJ has recently published commentaries by Laberge and Girardin (1992) and McAll (1992), on our analyses of sport practices among Anglophone and Francophone Canadians, that obscure more than they clarify. The comments contain problems of misunderstanding and misrepresentations and put forward a nonviable theoretical interpretation of Francophone/Anglophone differences in leisure sport participation. They also recommend a problematic research strategy for the area of study. We briefly spell out some of the problems involved in the two sets of comments. We also present additional data for the late 1980s that further call into question the commentators’ interpretation.

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James E. Curtis and Barry D. McPherson

This paper presents the results of a multivariate analysis of the relationship between region and the extent of participation in sport and physical activities, employing data from a large (N=20,000+) survey of a national sample of Canadian adults. The region-activity relationship is one that has been suggested also by some U.S. studies; that is, the farther west the respondent’s place of residence, the more likely he or she is to report high rates of physical activity. For the U.S. results, a convenient and common interpretation has been that the more favorable climate for outdoor activities in the westerly states leads to higher activity. This interpretation is not adequate for the Canadian findings, however, because of the harsher winter climate in the western provinces. Therefore, we explore some alternative theoretical interpretations of the Canadian results. These involve the effects of regional differences in three types of factors: sociodemographic composition, socioeconomic profiles, and opportunity structures. Because these factors are shown in our analyses to have only small effects upon the region-activity relationship, we also include some proposals for still further avenues of analysis and interpretation of the regional differences.

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Philip G. White and James E. Curtis

Multivariate analyses are presented showing, for the mid-1970s, the comparative propensities of Canadian anglophones and francophones to participate in forms of competitive sport and sport outside the family. Presented are data consistent with the values-differences perspective, which holds that there are differences in orientation toward achievement and the family across the Canadian linguistic groups. The analyses focus on a test of a specification of the values-differences thesis—the school-socialization interpretation, which holds that sport involvement patterns result in part because of differences in how competitive sport is organized in the schools in French Canada versus English Canada. It was found that differences in competitive sport participation were smaller after controls for respondents’ experience with sport during the school years. However, there remained significant francophone/anglophone differences in orientation to competitive and extra-family sport after controls for the effects of school experience and other social background factors.

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James E. Curtis and Jack S. Birch

A conventional wisdom in the lay sociology of sport journalism is that North American professional ice hockey players are disproportionately recruited from smaller communities and rural areas. One explanation given for this is that avenues for social mobility are more limited in such communities and that sport is heavily pursued as one of the few areas of opportunity. Sections of the sociological literature would suggest, though, that the opposite relationship may occur because larger cities have better opportunity structures for developing and expressing sport skills. These alternative expectations are tested for Canadian-born players in three professional leagues and for players on the last three Olympic teams. In addition, data for U.S. Olympic teams are presented. In interpreting the results, we also employ Canadian national survey data on mass participation of male youths in hockey. The findings show that the largest cities are underrepresented as birthplaces of players at each elite level, whereas small towns are overrepresented. Yet, community size does not appear related to the general population of male youths’ rate of participation in hockey. Emphasized are interpretations concerning how amateur hockey is organized.

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John W. Loy, James E. Curtis, and James M. Hillen

This paper replicates Grusky’s (1963) study of the playing position-leadership recruitment relationship among North American professional baseball clubs in a different cultural context, comparing it to Japanese professional base-ball organizations over a 40-year period. Overall, the Japanese results are consistent with the North American findings, with the more central or high interaction positions contributing more leaders or field managers. However, the relationship is considerably weaker for the sport in Japan. There were also significant cross-cultural differences in the consequences of players having held the positions of pitcher and catcher. Alternative interpretations of the results are offered, and the implications of the results for choices of appropriate research strategies are presented.

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Timothy I. McCutcheon, James E. Curtis, and Philip G. White

This paper reports on the distribution by socioeconomic status (SES) of injuries from sport and physical activities for each gender using data from a national sample of adult Canadians. The results show weak positive relationships between SES (various measures) and sport injury before controls for both genders, and that men are more likely to experience sports injuries than women. Workplace physical activity is negatively related to SES and negatively related to sport injury. Also, duration and intensity of sport and physical activities are positively related to SES and positively related to sport injuries. The effects of these intervening variables help account for the positive relationships of SES and sport injuries.