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Diane L. Gill

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Diane L. Gill

Women and women’s issues have a place in sport psychology today, but women have no place in most histories of the field. Some women sport psychologists, particularly Dorothy Harris, were instrumental in the development of sport psychology as a subdiscipline in the 1960s and 1970s. Re-searching the historical foundations reveals that the notable contributions of Harris and other women sport psychologists have roots in earlier work in both psychology and physical education. Pioneering women psychologists conducted research and challenged sexist assumptions and practices since psychology’s earliest days. At the same time, prominent women leaders developed women-oriented programs and contributed to the professional literature in physical education. Women and women’s issues have a place in sport psychology today, but too often that is an “other” or special interest place. By taking steps to re-place women in history and by engendering current research and practice, sport and exercise psychology will be a stronger science and profession.

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Diane L. Gill

As the new Editor of the “new” Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal (WSPAJ), and someone who has been a reviewer, editorial member, author and reader since WSPAJ began publishing in 1992, I offer my historical perspective and my vision for WSPAJ. First, I am honored to be entrusted with the editorship as WSPAJ moves into its new home at UNCG, and I am committed to ensuring that WSPAJ is the leading publication for scholarship on women’s sport and physical activity. My vision for WSPAJ stems from its roots, and thus, I begin this editorial with an overview of the history of WSPAJ. Then, I will outline our mission and vision for WSPAJ. Finally, I invite all who are committed to women’s sport and physical activity to join our WSPAJ team.

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Diane L. Gill

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Diane L. Gill

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Diane L. Gill

Information on submitted manuscripts and editorial decisions suggested that the journal has maintained its status as a respected sport and exercise psychology research publication from 1985 to 1990. Most submitted manuscripts described research on sport and exercise participants with research topics, samples, and methodologies that follow traditional patterns. Surveys and factorial or regression designs dominated, although some research using alternative approaches, particularly interpretive methodologies, has been submitted and published. Future research might expand to include more diverse participants, settings, and methodologies.

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Diane L. Gill

This article has two major purposes, to discuss the general scope and direction of the Journal of Sport Psychology (JSP) and to describe the basic editorial review process. During its first 7 years the journal has developed into the premier scientific publication in sport psychology. The journal will continue to emphasize theoretically based research. Various psychological approaches and research methodologies are appropriate as long as the information advances our understanding of sport and exercise behavior. The typical editorial and review processes are described for the benefit of prospective authors who may wish to become familiar with these standards and procedures before submitting manuscripts to JSP.

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Diane L. Gill

In taking a senior perspective, the author first steps back and offers an historical view and then offers her senior advice for moving forward. When the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) was in its infancy (early 1970s), the psychology subarea was known as social psychology and physical activity, and our research largely followed social psychology theories and research methods. In subsequent developing years, our research split into sport psychology and exercise psychology, with more focused research lines that moved away from social psychology and physical activity. While the more focused research builds our evidence base, that research has little impact on the wide range of participants and professionals. To have greater impact, we can reclaim the “social,” and we can take a more inclusive view of physical activity. We must recognize and highlight the powerful and complex role of “social” context and relationships and directly engage with professionals and participants in those real-world settings. We need more scholars who partner with other (nonacademic) professionals, teach those future professionals, and engage with their community and the public to enhance our real-world impact.

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Edward McAuley and Diane Gill

Interest in the role of self-confidence in sport performance has been high in sport psychology research. A measure to assess general physical self-efficacy has recently been developed, but without application to competitive sport performance. The present study examined the role of general and task-specific self-efficacy in women's intercollegiate gymnastics. It also assessed the reliability and validity of the Physical Self-Efficacy Scale in a competitive sport setting. The Physical Self-Efficacy Scale was found to be a reliable and valid instrument for measuring an individual's general physical self-efficacy in sport. However, the task-specific measures of self-efficacy and the gymnast's prediction of how they would perform proved to be much more powerful variables for predicting actual gymnastic performance. The results are discussed in terms of the relationships between different types of self-efficacy and sport performance and the problems associated with self-efficacy measurement.