This study examined the sources of information used by adult exercisers to judge performance. Of particular interest was the investigation of gender differences. Subjects, 271 adults (174 males, 97 females) who were enrolled in a university weight training program, completed a questionnaire designed to evaluate the importance of 12 information sources in judging weight training performance: instructor feedback, student feedback, student comparison, changes noticed outside the gym, personal attraction toward the activity, degree of perceived effort exerted in the workout, performance in workout, feedback from others not in the class, goal setting, muscle development, workout improvement over time, and ease in learning new skills. Results revealed a significant discriminant function analysis for gender, with six information sources entering the stepwise procedure: goal setting, student feedback, learning, effort, improvement, and changes noticed outside the gym differentiated the gender groups. Males relied more than females on student feedback as an information source to judge performance. Alternatively, females used effort, goal setting, improvement, and learning as information sources more than males.
Diane E. Whaley and Vicki Ebbeck
This study used a qualitative, feminist perspective to examine issues pertaining to exercise constraints among older adults. Participants were 8 male and 9 female older adults (mean age = 76.7) who chose not to engage in structured exercise classes. Twenty-six self-identified constraints were elicited (mean = four per person). Additionally, four constraints per person from previous research were selected. The most frequently cited self-reported constraints were “get enough exercise elsewhere,” health-related items, and issues related to time. From the constraints most frequently cited in past studies, inconvenience, time, and type of activity were selected most often. Gender differences were apparent in the constraints chosen as well as reasons why a particular constraint inhibited or prohibited activity. Specific suggestions for strategies included having programs with a purpose, building in flexibility, and encouraging men to participate. The influence of gender is explored, especially how expanding our understanding of gender issues might improve program planning.
Diane E. Whaley and Vicki Ebbeck
One's sense of self over time, or identity, is an important component of well-being. Schemata formed from components of identity, such as an exerciser schema, have been associated with behaviors that promote physical activity. This study explored the process of exercise-identity formation in active older adults, questioned whether or not the term exerciser was a meaningful descriptor for their behavior, and examined whether self-views were mediated by perceptions of aging. Thirteen older adults (66–90 years) were interviewed. Results supported the contention that identity formation is a purposeful activity. Participants were more likely to ascribe alternative labels to their exercise behavior, and what it meant to be “old” mediated their perceptions of exercise. Results are discussed with regard to implications for interventions.
Vicki Ebbeck and Moira E. Stuart
This investigation examined the extent to which perceptions of competence and importance predicted self-esteem. Players (N = 214) from three grade levels (3–4, 5–6, 7–8) completed questionnaires that assessed perceived basketball competence, as well as each player’s perception of how important it was to himself, his parents, his coach, and his team to be good at basketball. Three nonstepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that the set of predictor variables accounted for 20–28% of the variance in self-esteem across grade levels. The individual predictor variables significantly related to self-esteem were perceived competence and perceived parent importance for Grades 3–4, perceived competence for Grades 5–6, and perceived competence and perceived team importance for Grades 7–8. Perceived competence, however, consistently contributed most substantively to the prediction of self-esteem. These findings are discussed in relation to earlier studies and existing conceptual frameworks.
Moira E. Stuart and Vicki Ebbeck
The present study examined the influence of perceived social approval on moral development in youth sport. The sample consisted of 249 youth basketball players ranging in age from 9 to 15 years. A questionnaire was administered to the players during a team practice session near the end of a 10-week competitive season. Perceptions of significant other (mother, father, coach, teammates) approval of antisocial behavior served as the predictor variables; moral development components (judgment, reason, intent, behavior) served as the criterion variables. Canonical correlation analyses revealed significant overall relationships for both younger children (Grades 4 and 5) and adolescents (Grades 7 and 8). For younger children, lower perceptions of social approval were associated with a higher ability to judge a situation as a moral problem and the intent to exhibit moral behavior. For adolescents, perceived social approval was inversely related to reason, prosocial behavior, and particularly the judgment of a moral problem and the intent to exhibit moral behavior. These findings are discussed in terms of the importance of continuing to understand the influence of significant others on moral development in youth sport.
Rebecca Y. Concepcion and Vicki Ebbeck
The purpose of this study was to examine the physical activity experiences of survivors of domestic violence in relation to how they view themselves and their circumstances. The participants were 7 women who had been in abusive relationships. They were given access to an exercise facility and participated in 1 to 4 interviews regarding abuse history, physical activity levels, self-view, and emotional status. Qualitative analysis revealed that physical activity gave women a sense of accomplishment and improved their mental and emotional status, gave them hope and healing, a sense of being “normal,” of working toward a future self, and freedom. These findings support the consideration of physical activity participation for survivors of domestic abuse.
Vicki Ebbeck and Moira E. Stuart
The present study examined perceived competence, individual importance (what is important to the individual), and group importance (what is perceived to be important to the group) as determinants of self-esteem. The sample consisted of 100 male football players ranging in age from 11 to 14 years. A questionnaire containing items that assessed the central constructs was administered to the players during a team practice near the end of a 7-week competitive season. Self-esteem was the dependent variable, with perceived competence, individual importance, and group importance entered as the set of predictor variables in a non-stepwise multiple regression analysis. Results revealed that the set of predictor variables accounted for 47% of the variance in self-esteem. Both perceived competence and individual importance contributed significantly to explaining self-esteem, although perceived competence was the strongest predictor. The findings of this study are discussed in terms of how the values of significant others might influence the development of self-esteem.
Vicki Ebbeck and Maureen R. Weiss
The present study examined perceived sport competence and affect experienced in sport as possible determinants of children’s levels of self-esteem. The sample consisted of 183 summer sport program participants ranging in age from 8 to 13 years. The children completed self-report questionnaires that assessed the constructs of interest. Hypothesized relationships among the constructs were then examined using structural equation modeling techniques. The results revealed that both structural models tested provided an adequate fit with the sample data. For the affect mediator model, perceived competence significantly influenced positive affect and to a lesser degree negative affect, while only positive affect influenced self-esteem. For the perceived competence mediator model, only positive affect significantly influenced perceived competence, which in turn significantly influenced self-esteem. Thus, higher scores on perceived competence and positive affect were associated with higher scores in children’s self-esteem.
Maureen R. Weiss, Vicki Ebbeck and Thelma S. Horn
This study explored relationships among children’s age, individual differences, and sources of physical competence information. Children (N = 183) completed measures of competitive trait anxiety (CTA), perceived physical competence (PC), general self-esteem (SE), and sources of competence information in the sport domain. A cluster analysis revealed four distinct profiles of children. In Cluster 1, children were younger, scored relatively higher in CTA and lower in PC, and indicated strongest preference for pregame anxiety as a source of information. Cluster 2 was characterized by children with lower PC and SE scores who placed lower importance on parental evaluation and pre game anxiety sources. In Cluster 3, children scored higher on PC and SE, moderately lower on CTA, and preferred self-referenced and parental evaluation criteria. In Cluster 4, children were older, higher in CTA, lower in PC and SE, and indicated strongest preference for social comparison/evaluation criteria. The criteria children use to evaluate their physical competence are strongly associated with age and psychological characteristics.
Maureen R. Weiss, Heather Barber, Vicki Ebbeck and Beeky L. Sisley
This study examined perceptions of ability and affective experiences of female coaches (N=28) following a hands-on coaching internship. Coaches were interviewed regarding the internship's positive and negative aspects and their perceived strengths and weaknesses. Using qualitative research methods, quotes were drawn from the interview transcripts and submitted to an inductive content analysis. Major themes characterizing the positive aspects of the internship were satisfaction of working with kids, development of coaching skills, social support, and fun; themes related to negative aspects of the experience were negative interactions with mentor coach, excessive time demands, low perceptions of competence, negative relationships with athletes, lack of administrative support, and overemphasis on winning. Perceived coaching strengths included major themes of interpersonal communication, motivation, teaching skills, knowledge of the game, discipline, and balance of work and fun. Weaknesses were identified as inadequate sport-related knowledge and skills, leadership skills, planning and management skills, physical skills, and injury-prevention and maintenance skills. Implications of these findings for recruiting, educating, and retaining coaches are made.