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Brendan Smith, Stephanie Hanrahan, Ruth Anderson, and Lyndel Abbott

Leaving home or transitioning to another environment is a part of every individual’s personal growth and is often considered to be a significant developmental milestone. The distress that individuals experience with this transition has been identified as homesickness. Elite sporting institutions, such as the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), have recognized that problems associated with homesickness appear to be a predominant cause of poor well-being and dropout among athletes living in a national sports institute. This study aimed to investigate if individual personality traits and coping styles could predict levels of homesickness in these athletes. Neuroticism, self-esteem, and mental escape were significant predictors of homesickness. These results suggest that athletes who are vulnerable to homesickness can be identified before the commencement of their sporting scholarships so they can be treated accordingly.

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Ilona I. McMullan, Brendan P. Bunting, Lee Smith, Ai Koyanagi, and Mark A. Tully

Research suggests that physical activity (PA) has many health benefits for an aging population. Evidence exploring the association between PA and vision is limited. This study includes the measures of self-reported PA (International Physical Activity Questionnaire) and self-rated vision at three points in time over a 6-year period used in the Irish Longitudinal study of Ageing, a cohort of community-dwelling older adults (50 years or older). A path analysis found that PA was indirectly associated with vision over 6 years controlling for age, sex, marital status, employment, education, depression (Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale), self-reported general health, cardiovascular disease (e.g., heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes, eye disease (e.g., glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, macular degeneration, cataract), and disabilities associated with activities of daily living. Further research is needed to fully understand the relationship over time and generalize the findings.

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Stuart J. Cormack, Renee L. Smith, Mitchell M. Mooney, Warren B. Young, and Brendan J. O’Brien

Purpose:

To determine differences in load/min (AU) between standards of netball match play.

Methods:

Load/min (AU) representing accumulated accelerations measured by triaxial accelerometers was recorded during matches of 2 higher- and 2 lower-standard teams (N = 32 players). Differences in load/min (AU) were compared within and between standards for playing position and periods of play. Differences were considered meaningful if there was >75% likelihood of exceeding a small (0.2) effect size.

Results:

Mean (± SD) full-match load/min (AU) for the higher and lower standards were 9.96 ± 2.50 and 6.88 ± 1.88, respectively (100% likely lower). The higher standard had greater (mean 97% likely) load/min (AU) values in each position. The difference between 1st and 2nd halves’ load/min (AU) was unclear at the higher standard, while lower-grade centers had a lower (−7.7% ± 10.8%, 81% likely) load/min (AU) in the 2nd half and in all quarters compared with the 1st. There was little intrastandard variation in individual vector contributions to load/min (AU); however, higher-standard players accumulated a greater proportion of the total in the vertical plane (mean 93% likely).

Conclusions:

Higher-standard players produced greater load/min (AU) than their lower-standard counterparts in all positions. Playing standard influenced the pattern of load/min (AU) accumulation across a match, and individual vector analysis suggests that different-standard players have dissimilar movement characteristics. Load/min (AU) appears to be a useful method for assessing activity profile in netball.

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Ilona I. McMullan, Brendan P. Bunting, Annette Burns, Lee Smith, Connor Cunningham, Roger O’Sullivan, Nicole E. Blackburn, Jason J. Wilson, and Mark A. Tully

Social relationships are central to the health and well-being of older adults. Evidence exploring the association of physical activity (PA) with social isolation and loneliness is limited. This study uses a path analysis to investigate the longitudinal association between loneliness and social isolation with PA using the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. Higher levels of social isolation measured using the Berkman–Syme Social Network Index were directly and indirectly associated with lower levels of walking, moderate PA, and vigorous PA over 6 years. Additionally, higher levels of walking were associated with lower levels of loneliness measured using a modified version of the University of California, Los Angeles loneliness scale over a 3-year period. Future interventions should target individuals who are more socially isolated and explore the effects of different types of PA on loneliness over time.

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Ilona I. McMullan, Brendan P. Bunting, Nicole E. Blackburn, Jason J. Wilson, Manuela Deidda, Paolo Caserotti, Lee Smith, Dhayana Dallmeier, Marta Roque, Gudrun Weinmayr, Maria Giné-Garriga, Laura Coll-Planas, Mark A. Tully, and on behalf of the SITLESS group

Improving the capacity for physical activity interventions to maintain behavior change is a key public health concern and an important strategy for the health and independence of older adults. Ways of ensuring effective maintenance of physical activity levels in older adults are unclear. This study includes the objective measure of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA); self-reported self-efficacy; and self-regulation at four timepoints (baseline, intervention completion at 4 months, 12-, and 18-month follow-up) from the SITLESS study, a clinical trial conducted with a cohort of community-dwelling older adults (≥65 years) from Denmark, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. A cross-lagged analysis found that self-regulation and self-efficacy may be key determinants of MVPA behavior in community-dwelling older adults. More specifically, the use of behavioral support strategies represents an important correlate of MVPA behavior, and its association with MVPA may be mediated by self-regulation and self-efficacy in older adults in the short and long term.