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Edward McAuley, Shannon L. Mihalko, and Karl Rosengren

This study examined relationships among physical activity patterns, self-efficacy, balance, and fear of falling in older adults. Fifty-eight older adults (52-85 years) completed measures of physical activity, self-efficacy, and fear of falling. Subjects then performed the items found in the Berg Balance Scale (Berg, Wood-Dauphinee, Williams, & Maki, 1992). More physically active adults were less fearful of falling, had better balance, and had stronger perceptions of efficacy. Those with better balance were less fearful of falling, and females were more fearful than males. Balance and self-efficacy had significant independent effects on fear, whereas the contribution of history of physical activity was nonsignificant. The findings suggest that behavioral, social cognitive, and biological factors may be important correlates of fear of falling. Further support is provided for the utility of self-efficacy measures in the prediction of fear of falling, although reliance on any one measure to assess this construct may underestimate the role of self-efficacy.

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Arthur F. Kramer, Sowon Hahn, and Edward McAuley

The article provides a brief review of the literature on the relationship between aerobic Fitness and neurocognitive function, particularly as it relates to older adults. Cross-sectional studies provide strong support for the beneficial influence of fitness on neurocognitive function. The longitudinal or interventional literature, however, provides more equivocal support for this relationship. In discussing the literature, the authors introduce a new hypothesis, the executive control/fitness hypothesis, which suggests that selective neurocognitive benefits will be observed with improvements in aerobic fitness; that is, executive control processes that include planning, scheduling, task coordination, inhibition, and working memory will benefit from enhanced fitness. Preliminary evidence for this hypothesis is discussed.

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Maureen R. Weiss, Vicki Ebbeck, Edward McAuley, and Diane M. Wiese

This study explored the relationship between children's self-esteem and attributions for performance in both physical and social achievement domains. Children's physical and social self-esteem as well as perceptions of and attributions for performance and interpersonal success in a summer sports program were assessed. Multivariate analyses revealed a significant relationship between self-esteem and causal attributions for both physical and social domains. For physical competence, children high in self-esteem made attributions that were more internal, stable, and higher in personal control than did low self-esteem children. For social competence, children high in self-esteem made attributions that were more internal, stable, and higher in personal and lower in external control than did children low in self-esteem. These results provided support for a self-consistency approach to self-esteem.

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Neha Gothe, Matthew B. Pontifex, Charles Hillman, and Edward McAuley

Background:

Despite an increase in the prevalence of yoga exercise, research focusing on the relationship between yoga exercise and cognition is limited. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an acute yoga exercise session, relative to aerobic exercise, on cognitive performance.

Methods:

A repeated measures design was employed where 30 female college-aged participants (Mean age = 20.07, SD = 1.95) completed 3 counterbalanced testing sessions: a yoga exercise session, an aerobic exercise session, and a baseline assessment. The flanker and n-back tasks were used to measure cognitive performance.

Results:

Results showed that cognitive performance after the yoga exercise bout was significantly superior (ie, shorter reaction times, increased accuracy) as compared with the aerobic and baseline conditions for both inhibition and working memory tasks. The aerobic and baseline performance was not significantly different, contradicting some of the previous findings in the acute aerobic exercise and cognition literature.

Conclusion:

These findings are discussed relative to the need to explore the effects of other nontraditional modes of exercise such as yoga on cognition and the importance of time elapsed between the cessation of the exercise bout and the initiation of cognitive assessments in improving task performance.

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Edward McAuley, Shannon L. Mihalko, and Susan M. Bane

This study was designed to examine whether the exercise environment affected individuals’ anxiety responses. Participants either sat quietly (control) or exercised in either a laboratory or a setting of their own choosing. State anxiety measures were assessed at baseline, during activity, and following 15 minutes of rest after activity. Analyses indicated that the exercising conditions significantly reduced anxiety, whereas the control condition did not. Additional analyses indicated that anxiety increased from baseline during exercise and then was reduced upon exercise cessation. The implications of these findings for the examination of acute exercise effects on psychological function are discussed.

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Katie L. Cederberg, Robert W. Motl, and Edward McAuley

Older adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience the combined effects of aging and a chronic, disabling neurological disease on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and physical function. This study examined associations among light and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (LPA and MVPA), sedentary behavior, and physical function in older adults with MS. Forty older adults with MS (median age = 60 years) who had a median Expanded Disability Status Scale score of 4.5 wore an accelerometer for a 7-day period and completed the Short Physical Performance Battery (SBBP), 6-minute walk (6MW), and timed 25-foot walk (T25FW). LPA was associated with SPPB (r s = .551, p < 0.01), 6MW (r s = .660, p < 0.01), and T25FW (r s = .623, p < 0.01) scores; MVPA was associated with 6MW (r s = .529, p < 0.01) and T25FW (r s = .403, p < 0.01) scores. There were significant associations between LPA, but not MVPA, with SPPB (β = .583, p < 0.01), 6MW (β = .613, p < 0.01), and T25FW (β = .627, p < 0.01) scores in linear regression analyses. Older adults with MS who engaged in more LPA demonstrated better physical function and therefore LPA might be a target of future behavioral interventions.

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Terry E. Duncan, Susan C. Duncan, and Edward McAuley

The present study investigated the role of domain-specific combinations of social support provisions in adherence to a prescribed exercise regimen. Research participants were middle-aged, sedentary, males and females (N = 85). Separate discriminant function analyses for males and females revealed that among females, the social provisions of guidance and reassurance of worth significantly discriminated adherers and nonadherers. The two provisions of social integration and guidance significantly discriminated adherers and nonadherers among males. Results are discussed with reference to the importance of social provisions in exercise settings, male and female differences, and the implications of social support interventions for enhancing exercise compliance.

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Kathleen A. Martin, W. Jack Rejeski, Mark R. Leary, Edward McAuley, and Susan Bane

Recent research has suggested that the Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS) is a multidimensional rather than a unidimensional measure. The present study challenged this position on both conceptual and empirical grounds. After deleting three questionable items from the SPAS, a series of confirmatory factor analyses were conducted across four samples of women who had completed the scale. Across all samples, the model fit indices (i.e., all > .90) suggested that a nine-item, single factor model of the SPAS is more parsimonious and conceptually clear than a two-factor model. It is recommended that researchers of social physique anxiety begin to use the nine-item version of the SPAS described in this paper.

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David X. Marquez, Eduardo E. Bustamante, Edward McAuley, and Dawn E. Roberts

Background:

Latinos have the lowest leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) rates. However, measurement of only LTPA might underestimate total physical activity. This study compares the objective physical activity of Latinos reporting high or low levels of LTPA and also compares gender differences.

Methods:

Data were obtained from 148 Latinos (n = 83 women, n = 65 men). Freedson cut points were employed to determine daily minutes of activity.

Results:

Latinos reporting high LTPA engaged in more daily minutes of vigorous and very vigorous activity than Latinos reporting low LTPA (P values < .05). There was no difference in daily minutes of moderate-intensity activity (P = .12), with both groups of Latinos meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/American College of Sports Medicine guidelines. Men engaged in more daily minutes of moderate activity than women (P < .01).

Conclusions:

Many Latinos met physical activity guidelines even when reporting low levels of LTPA. Future studies should determine whether equivalent health benefits are achieved by meeting guidelines through LTPA and non-LTPA.