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Terence Dwyer, James F. Sallis, Leigh Blizzard, Ross Lazarus and Kimberlie Dean

The objective of this study was to examine the association of scholastic performance with physical activity and fitness of children. To do so, school ratings of scholastic ability on a five-point scale for a nationally representative sample of 7,961 Australian schoolchildren aged 7–15 years were compared with physical activity and fitness measurements. Consistently across age and sex groups, the ratings were significantly correlated with questionnaire measures of physical activity and with performance on the 1.6-kilometer run, sit-ups and push-ups challenges, 50-meter sprint, and standing long jump. There were no significant associations for physical work capacity at a heart rate of 170 (PWC170). The results are concordant with the hypothesis that physical activity enhances academic performance, but the cross-sectional nature of the observations limits causal inference, and the disparity for PWC170 gives reason to question whether the associations were due to measurement bias or residual confounding.

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Joe Cobbs, B. David Tyler, Jonathan A. Jensen and Kwong Chan

Accessing and exploiting organizational resources are essential capabilities for competitive sport organizations, particularly those engaged in motorsports, where teams lacking resources frequently dissolve. Corporate sponsorship represents a common method for resource acquisition, yet not all sponsorships equally benefit the sponsored organization. Sponsorship utility can be dependent on institutional dynamics such as league governance that produces competitive disparities. Through this study we extend the resource-based view to assert that sponsorships vary in their propensity to contribute to team survival, warranting prioritization in sponsorship strategy based on access to different sponsor resources. To empirically investigate the influence of a variety of sponsorships, survival analysis modeling was used to examine 40 years of corporate sponsorship of Formula One racing teams. One finding from the longitudinal analysis was that sponsorships offering financial or performance-based resources enhance team survival to a greater degree than operational sponsorships. However, such prioritization is subject to team experience, changes in institutional monetary allocation, and diminishing returns.

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Glyn Hughes

This article explores the intersection of representation, management, and race in the National Basketball Association (NBA) through a larger question on the relationship between corporate strategies for managing racialized subjects and popular representations of race. The NBA “brand”is situated in terms of recent developments in corporate and popular culture and then analyzed as an example of diversity management. Relying on original interviews with NBA corporate employees, as well as business and marketing industry reporting, the article analyzes the NBA as simultaneously an organization and a brand. As such, the NBA helps to “articulate” the corporate with the popular, largely through an implied racial project that manages race relations by continuing to equate corporate interests with Whiteness. The analysis contributes to ongoing discussions about the role of sports in perpetuating social disparities based on race at a time when “colorblindness” remains the paradigm of White approaches to race.

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Wendell C. Taylor, Walker S. Carlos Poston, Lovell Jones and M. Katherine Kraft

Background:

The term “environmental justice” refers to efforts to address the disproportionate exposure to and burden of harmful environmental conditions experienced by low-income and racial/ethnic minority populations.

Methods:

Based on computer and manual searches, this paper presents a review of articles in the published literature that discuss disparities in physical activity, dietary habits, and obesity among different populations.

Results:

This paper provides evidence that economically disadvantaged and racial/ethnic minority populations have substantial environmental challenges to overcome to become physically active, to acquire healthy dietary habits, and to maintain a healthy weight. For example, residents living in poorer areas have more environmental barriers to overcome to be physically active.

Conclusions:

We propose a research agenda to specifically address environmental justice with regard to improving physical activity, dietary habits, and weight patterns.

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Gregory A. Cranmer, Alexander L. Lancaster and Tina M. Harris

The disparity in framing in sport media based on athlete race has historically garnered extensive attention. In the past, the media promoted historical stereotypes of Black athletes that emphasized their physical prowess and diminished their intellectual capacity. However, recent research provides evidence that these traditional frames are changing and that recent media coverage is more racially equitable or even contradicts old patterns. Advancing this critique further, the current study examined novel visual frames (i.e., the emphasis of athleticism, sporting context, and sexualization) of White and Black athletes in ESPN’s The Body Issue. The findings contradict historical patterns of representations of Black athletes through the identification of a shift in the framing patterns for Black male athletes, whereas Black female athletes still face frames that portray them in a stereotypical manner. This study recognizes these tensions while successfully illustrating the importance of examining the intersections of difference for revealing and confronting the unique portrayals of Black female athletes.

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Aaron Clopton

The current study sought to trace the origin of gender disparity in the coaching landscape from student-athletes’ perceptions, framed through Social Cognitive Career Theory. To examine the cognitive-person variables in line with previous coaching and SCCT research, scales were derived for perceived social supports and barriers, perceptions of positive and negative outcome expectations, and perceived self-efficacy in coaching. Student-athletes were randomly selected online from 23 institutions across three Bowl Championship Series conferences, while data were coded into a MANCOVA. Results indicated male student-athletes reported greater levels for perceived barriers to enter the coaching profession, perceptions of positive outcome expectations, and for coaching self-efficacy than did their female counterparts. These findings suggest that gender differences within the college coaching profession may be, in part, due to perceptions formed before entry.

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Greg Reid and Andrea Prupas

Seven research priorities for disability sport were identified by the Committee on Sports for the Disabled, of the U.S. Olympic Committee (DePauw, 1986). The purpose of the present article is to assess progress achieved in each priority area. Electronic and manual searches of journals from 1986 to 1996 produced 436 articles. They were categorized into the seven priorities and subdivided as data-based research or review publications. There was a distinct disparity of output across the seven areas, some attracting only scant attention from the scientific community. With 149 articles, the legal/philosophical/historical priority was most common. When publications were analyzed according to disability category, the majority were nonspecific; that is, they addressed the more general athlete with a disability. It was concluded that the disability sport community should reassess the seven priorities, identify new areas, and seek ways to foster high priority research.

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Karen E. Peterson, Tamara Dubowitz, Anne M. Stoddard, Philip J. Troped, Glorian Sorensen and Karen M. Emmons

Background:

Persistent disparities suggest that multiple aspects of social context may influence leisure-time physical activity levels and weight status in multiethnic, working-class populations.

Methods:

Among participants in two randomized, controlled intervention trials (n = 1,969 in 10 health centers; n = 1,545 in 26 manufacturing businesses) we used general linear mixed models to examine the relationship of variables posited by a social-contextual framework for behavior change with h/wk of self-reported leisure-time physical activity and with body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/(height (m))2) at baseline, adjusting for clustering within study site.

Results:

Age, sex, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic position were independently associated with leisure-time physical activity in both settings; multivariable models explained 15% of the variance in health centers and 11% in small businesses. Leisure-time physical activity and motivation to change lifestyle behaviors were inversely associated with BMI, adjusting for individual, interpersonal, and neighborhood factors. Models explained 12% of variance in BMI in health centers and 10% in small businesses.

Conclusions:

A social-contextual framework highlights the contribution of social class and race/ethnicity in the variance in leisure-time physical activity and weight status but suggests other behavioral influences vary in multiethnic, working-class populations.

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Christopher A. Miller, Alan H. Feiveson and Jacob J. Bloomberg

Gait kinematics have been shown to vary with speed and visual-target fixation distance, but their combined effects on toe trajectory during treadmill walking are not known. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the role of walking speed and target distance on vertical toe trajectory during treadmill walking. Subjects walked on a treadmill at five speeds while performing a dynamic visual-acuity task at both “far” and “near” target distances (ten trials total). The analysis concentrated on three specific toe trajectory events during swing: the first peak toe height just after toe-off; the minimum toe height (toe clearance), and the second peak toe height just before heel strike. With increasing speed, toe clearance decreased and the peak toe height just before heel strike increased. Only the peak toe height just after toe-off was significantly changed between the near-target and far-target tasks, though the difference was small. Therefore, walking speed and visual-fixation distance cannot be neglected in the analysis of toe trajectory. Otherwise, differences observed between populations may be attributed to age- or clinically related factors, instead of disparities of speed or target-fixation distance.

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David Kahan and Virginie Nicaise

Background:

Curriculum interventions aimed at increasing physical activity in schools may prove useful in contexts where changes in policy/environment are not feasible. Design/evaluation of interventions targeting minority groups is important in light of well-publicized health disparities. Religious minorities represent a special subset that may positively respond to interventions tailored to their unique beliefs, which to date have been relatively underreported.

Methods:

Muslim American youth (n = 45) attending a parochial middle school participated in a religiously- and culturally-tailored 8-wk, interdisciplinary pedometer intervention. School-time ambulatory activity was quantified using a delayed multiple-baseline across subjects ABA design. Visual analysis of graphic data as well as repeated-measures ANOVA and ANCOVA and post hoc contrasts were used to analyze step counts including the moderating effects of day type (PE, no-PE), gender, BMI classification, grade, and time.

Results:

The intervention elicited modest increases in males’ steps only with effect decay beginning midintervention. BMI classification and grade were not associated with changes in steps.

Conclusions:

Full curricular integration by affected classroom teachers, staff modeling of PA behavior, and alternative curriculum for girls’ PE classes may further potentiate the intervention.