The present study explored the sources of stress and coping strategies of five female first-year university swimmers. The results of group and individual interviews revealed the major sources of stress experienced by our participants were training intensity, high performance expectations, interpersonal relationships, being away from home, and academics. The participants utilized social support, emotional release, and humor/fun as their primary coping responses during the early part of their first year. As the year progressed, cognitive coping responses such as positive reinterpretation and task focus emerged. In addition, important people in the athletic context influenced the participants’ interpretation of stress. The results shed light on the dynamic nature of the coping process and offered support for the transactional model of stress and coping (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984).
Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Taryn K. Lynn, Jaclyn M. Wetherington, Jamie Jenkins, Melissa Bodendorf and Brad Langley
Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Brent Hardin, Nancy Frye, Heather A. Hausenblas, Sam Sears and Amber Stegelin
We assessed within- and between-person associations among appraisals of daily life events, positive and negative affective states, and exercise behavior and the moderating role of personality for the exercise/affect relationship with individuals with physical disabilities. Forty-eight individuals with physical disabilities completed measures of personality and daily assessments of affect, exercise, and cognitive appraisals of life events for eight consecutive days. The results revealed that exercise behavior was associated with increased positive and decreased negative affect even when associations between daily events and affect were statistically controlled. Finally, aspects of personality, especially Neuroticism, significantly moderated the exercise/affect relationship for both positive and negative affect.
Matthew P. Buman, Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Joseph M. Dzierzewski, Adrienne Aiken Morgan, Christina S. McCrae, Beverly L. Roberts and Michael Marsiske
Using peer volunteers as delivery agents may improve translation of evidence-based physical activity promotion programs for older adults. This study examined whether tailored support from older peer volunteers could improve initiation and long-term maintenance of physical activity behavior.
Participants were randomized to 2 16-week, group-based programs: (1) peer-delivered, theory-based support for physical activity behavior change; or (2) an intervention typically available in community settings (basic education, gym membership, and pedometer for self-monitoring), attention-matched with health education. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was assessed via daily self-report logs at baseline, at the end of the intervention (16 weeks), and at follow-up (18 months), with accelerometry validation (RT3) in a random subsample.
Seven peer volunteers and 81 sedentary adults were recruited. Retention at the end of the trial was 85% and follow-up at 18 months was 61%. Using intent-to-treat analyses, at 16 weeks, both groups had similar significant improvements in MVPA. At 18 months, the group supplemented with peer support had significantly more MVPA.
Trained peer volunteers may enhance long-term maintenance of physical activity gains from a community-based intervention. This approach has great potential to be adapted and delivered inexpensively in community settings.