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Jeffrey D. Graham and Steven R. Bray

The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of task self-efficacy as a psychological factor involved in the relationship between self-control depletion and physical endurance. Participants (N = 37) completed two isometric handgrip endurance trials, separated by a Stroop task, which was either congruent (control) or incongruent (causing depletion). Task self-efficacy for the second endurance trial was measured following the Stroop task. Participants in the depletion condition reported lower task self-efficacy and showed a greater reduction in performance on the second endurance trial when compared with controls. Task self-efficacy also mediated the relationship between self-control depletion and endurance performance. The results of this study provide evidence that task self-efficacy is negatively affected following self-control depletion. We recommend that task self-efficacy be further investigated as a psychological factor accounting for the negative change in self-control performance of physical endurance and sport tasks following self-control strength depletion.

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Kira L. Innes, Jeffrey D. Graham, and Steven R. Bray

Social interactions are theorized to inform relation-inferred self-efficacy (RISE), which, in turn, may influence self-efficacy and behavior. This study investigated the effects of peer encouragement on RISE, task self-efficacy, and physical performance. Children (N = 84) were assigned to dyads and randomized to provide peer encouragement to one another or not (control group). Participants completed two endurance handgrip trials, separated by a cognitively demanding task intended to induce mental fatigue and increase the salience of the peer encouragement manipulation. Participants in the experimental group exchanged words of encouragement prior to the second endurance trial, whereas those in the control group did not. The peer encouragement group reported higher RISE and showed increased performance across trials compared with controls. Providing peer encouragement prior to a challenging physical task was associated with more positive RISE perceptions and improved physical performance.

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Tuyen Le, Jeffrey D. Graham, Sara King-Dowling, and John Cairney

This study examined the effects of perceptions of motor abilities on aerobic and musculoskeletal exercise performance in young children at risk for developmental coordination disorder (rDCD). The participants (N = 539) were part of a larger cohort study, the Coordination and Activity Tracking in Children (CATCH) study. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children (2nd Edition) was used to determine rDCD children. Perceptions of motor abilities were measured by the Perceived Efficacy and Goals Setting system. Aerobic exercise performance was measured using the Bruce Protocol treadmill test, and musculoskeletal exercise performance was assessed using the standing long jump and the Wingate Anaerobic test. The rDCD children reported lower Perceived Efficacy and Goals Setting scores and performed worse on all exercise performance measures. Perceptions of ability also mediated the relationship between developmental coordination disorder and each exercise performance test. It is concerning that children with low motor coordination report lower perceptions of ability even at a very young age.

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Jeffrey D. Graham, Bolun Zhang, Denver M.Y. Brown, and John Cairney

This study examined the home advantage effect in decisive National Basketball Association Conference Finals and Finals series playoff games from 1979 to 2019 (the 3-point shot era). We also examined the potential contribution of various offensive- and defensive-based skills and whether these skills mediated the relationship between game status (decisive vs. nondecisive) and outcome (win vs. loss). Overall, we found evidence of a home court advantage with the home team winning 63% of the decisive playoff games and 66% of the nondecisive playoff games. After adjusting for multiple comparisons and regular season win percentage, the home team had significantly more defensive rebounds and steals in Game 5 when trailing 3–1 going into that game. Mediation analyses did not reveal any significant findings when examining the impact of decisive game status on performance through offensive and defensive skills, thus suggesting there are other explanations for the home advantage effect.