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Ross M. Murray and Catherine M. Sabiston

The sport team social environment plays an important role in athletes’ experiences, including their enjoyment of sport, and these experiences may influence athletes’ decision to continue or dropout of sport. In the current study, enjoyment was examined as a mediator of the relationship between social identity and sport dropout. Adolescent girls (N = 150) who participated on a community sports team completed a questionnaire assessing social identity with their team and enjoyment of sport, and their sport participation status was measured 1 year later. Controlling for age and socioeconomic position, a path model showed that enjoyment mediated the relationship between social identity and sport dropout, bootstrapped unstandardized indirect effect = −0.04, 95% confidence interval [−0.08, −0.01]; p < .01. Fostering social identity with one’s sport team may contribute to greater enjoyment of sport and reductions in sport dropout in adolescent girls.

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Jennifer Brunet and Catherine M. Sabiston

This study examined (1) the relationships between self-presentation processes (i.e., impression motivation and impression construction) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among breast cancer survivors, and (2) whether social cognitive constructs (i.e., self-presentational efficacy expectancy [SPEE]; self-presentational outcome expectancy [SPOE]; self-presentational outcome value [SPOV]) moderate these relationships. Breast cancer survivors (N = 169; M age = 55.06, SD = 10.67 years) completed self-report measures. Hierarchical regression analysis, controlling for age and body mass index, indicated that impression motivation was a significant correlate of MVPA (β = .25). Furthermore, SPEE (β = .21) and SPOV (β = .27) were moderators of this relationship. The final models accounted for 12–24% of the variance in MVPA. The findings of this study suggest that self-presentation processes (i.e., impression motivation) may indeed relate to breast cancer survivors’ MVPA. In addition, social cognitive constructs (i.e., SPEE, SPOV) moderated the relationship between impression motivation and MVPA. It may be effective to target impression motivation, SPEE, and SPOV in interventions aimed at increasing MVPA among breast cancer survivors.

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Catherine M. Sabiston and Peter R.E. Crocker

This study examined adolescent leisure-time physical activity correlates using the expectancy-value (EV) model. Adolescents (N = 857) completed questionnaires to assess competence and value self-perceptions, social influences, and physical activity. Direct and indirect effects of self-perceptions and parent and best friend influences on physical activity were explored using structural equation modeling. Measurement models were a good ft to the data and gender invariance was supported. The structural mediation model was a reasonable ft to the data, whereby the indirect effects of parents and peers and the direct effects of competence beliefs and values together accounted for 49% of the variance in physical activity. In this model, the pattern of relationships was similar for adolescent males and females. Findings supporting the EV model provide theoretical and practical implications for understanding adolescent physical activity.

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Jenna D. Gilchrist, David E. Conroy, and Catherine M. Sabiston

This study examined how experienced and anticipated pride and shame were related to time spent training and effort expended toward training the following week. Participants (N = 158, 76% women; M age = 35.51, SD = 10.29 years) training for a marathon/half-marathon completed a weekly online questionnaire for 5 weeks leading up to a race. In the multilevel models, time spent training was positively predicted by race proximity, age, and effort expended that week. Effort expended toward training was predicted by the current week’s effort, the amount of time spent training that week, and was greater for participants who usually reported experiencing more pride than others. Neither anticipated pride or shame predicted time or effort, nor did experienced shame. The findings indicate that it is functional to foster high levels of pride when training for a long-distance race. Further work is needed to ascertain the relationship between anticipated emotions on goal-directed behavior.

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Katie E. Gunnell, Jennifer Brunet, Catherine Sabiston, and Mathieu Bélanger

Despite research attention toward understanding relationships between psychological need satisfaction (PNS), moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA), and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), methodological limitations make it difficult to establish reciprocal and mediating effects. Reciprocal relationships between PNS and MVPA were examined over 4 years, and their effects on adolescents’ change in dimensions of HRQoL were examined. Self-reported data were collected from 932 adolescents (M age = 10.9 years) every 4 months beginning in Grades 5/6. At the between-persons and within-person level, earlier PNS predicted later MVPA whereas earlier MVPA did not predict later PNS. Increases in MVPA were associated with greater change in physical (βlinear = .61, βquadratic = .77, ps = .03) and school functioning (βlinear = .68, βquadratic = .84, ps = .03) but no other dimensions of HRQoL (p > .05). Decreases in PNS were not associated with any of the dimensions of HRQoL. Fostering adolescents’ PNS could be a starting point to increase MVPA, which, in turn, may enhance select dimensions of HRQoL.

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Meghan H. McDonough, Catherine M. Sabiston, and Sarah Ullrich-French

Physical activity experiences may contribute to psychological and social wellbeing among breast cancer survivors. The main purpose of the current study was to qualitatively explore the development of social relationships, social support, and posttraumatic growth among breast cancer survivors participating in a dragon boat program over 19 months. Guided by interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009), semistructured interviews were conducted with 17 breast cancer survivors on five occasions over their first two seasons of dragon boating. Narrative accounts were developed for each participant, and four profiles emerged describing processes of social and posttraumatic growth development over time: “developing a feisty spirit of survivorship,” “I don’t want it to be just about me,” “it’s not about the pink it’s about the paddling,” and “hard to get close.” Profiles were discussed in terms of developing social relationships and support, providing support to others, physicality and athleticism, and negative interactions and experiences.

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Jennifer Brunet, Catherine Sabiston, Andree Castonguay, Leah Ferguson, and Natalia Bessette

The objectives of this study were to test the associations between physical self-discrepancies (actual:ideal and actual:ought) and physical activity behavior, and to examine whether motivational regulations mediate these associations using self-discrepancy (Higgins, 1987) and organismic integration (Deci & Ryan, 1985) theories as guiding frameworks. Young women (N = 205; M age = 18.87 years, SD = 1.83) completed self-report questionnaires. Main analyses involved path analysis using a polynomial regression approach, estimation of direct and indirect effects, and evaluation of response surface values. Agreement between actual and ideal (or ought) physical self-perceptions was related to physical activity both directly and indirectly as mediated by the motivational regulations (R 2 = .24–.30). Specifically, when actual and ideal self-perceptions scores were similar, physical activity levels increased as actual and ideal scores increased. Furthermore, physical activity levels were lower when the discrepancy was such that ideal or ought self were higher than actual self. These findings provide support for integrating self-discrepancy and organismic integration theories to advance research in this area.

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Eva Pila, Angela Stamiris, Andree Castonguay, and Catherine M. Sabiston

These three studies sought to better understand experiences of body-related envy and to examine the association with motivation and exercise behavior in young adult males and females. In an interview study, participants (N = 11) discussed body-related envy within a framework of social comparison. In Study 2, a thematic content analysis was conducted on self-reported narratives of body-related envy experiences reported by 288 participants. Themes of body-related envy triggers, cognitions, and cognitive and behavioral outcomes were identified. Findings from Studies 1 and 2 highlighted the possible link between body-related envy and exercise motivation and behavior. Study 3 tested these associations with males and females (N = 595) who completed a self-report questionnaire. In the structural equation model, body-related envy was positively associated with external, introjected, and identified regulations, and identified regulation was positively associated with exercise behavior. Taken together, the importance of body-related envy in the experience of cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes related to sport and exercise contexts is highlighted.

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Katya M. Herman, Catherine M. Sabiston, Angelo Tremblay, and Gilles Paradis


Self-rated health (SRH) is a common indicator of health-related quality of life; however, little is known about SRH in children. This study explored the associations of physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior (SED), and BMI with SRH in children at risk for obesity.


Participants were 527 children aged 8–10 years in the Quebec Adipose and Lifestyle Investigation in Youth study (inclusion criteria: ≥ 1 parent clinically obese). PA and SED were measured by accelerometer, specific SED behaviors by self-report, and height and weight measured.


About 40% of children were overweight or obese; 48% reported lessthan- excellent health. The odds of reporting less-than-excellent health were higher among obese girls (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.4–5.2) and boys (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.5–6.1) versus healthy weight children. Boys not meeting PA guidelines and boys in the lowest moderate-to-vigorous PA tertile were at 2 and 6 times higher odds of less-than-excellent SRH, respectively, versus more active boys. In girls, higher computer/video time and reading time were associated with higher and lower odds of less-than-excellent SRH, respectively.


Obesity is inversely associated with SRH in boys and girls, PA is positively associated with SRH in boys, and SED behaviors are associated with SRH in girls.

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Maryam Marashi, Sabrina Malouka, Tahla den Houdyker, and Catherine M. Sabiston

Despite increasing access to sport and exercise opportunities, girls and women in Canada continue to face gender disparity in sport participation. Several media campaigns have emerged to address this disparity and advocate for gender equity in sport. However, there is little understanding or evaluation of the content of these media campaigns. Informed by sport participation research, the She’s Got It All campaign was designed to highlight the challenges and intersecting disadvantages that girls and women face in sport. The purpose of the current study was to assess the textual and visual content of this campaign. The posters (N = 48) were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis (text) and deductive content analysis (visual) to identify the characteristics of the images and the themes in the messages. Based on the thematic analysis, seven main themes pertaining to girls’ and women’s barriers to sport participation are identified including physiology, gendered social behaviors, intrapersonal beliefs, environmental contexts, stereotypes, female representation, and interpersonal support. Based on the content analysis, most of the models presented in the posters are perceived as White and average-sized adult women, with visible muscle definition, slightly or nonrevealing clothing, and performing an individual sport. The poster visual and text material seem to miss opportunities to highlight the experiences of girls and women identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or sometimes questioning), and others and those classified as lower socioeconomic status. These findings provide foundational information for future research and media campaign designed to target gender equity in sport.