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Jeffrey J. Martin

The purpose was to examine predictors of social physique anxiety (SPA) in adolescent swimmers with physical disabilities. Participants were 57 swimmers (27 females, 30 males, ages 16-19, M = 16.2) with various physical disabilities. A three-way ANOVA revealed significant differences in SPA between countries and among disabilities but not gender. Stepwise multiple regression results indicated that self-esteem and the self-identity subscale of the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS) were the best predictors of SPA but that gender, country, and type of disability were not significant.

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Jeffrey J. Martin

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Jeffrey J. Martin

Psychosocial aspects of participation in youth disability sport were examined using social-cognitive theory and the sport commitment model. An international sample of athletes with disabilities (N = 112) reported high levels of sport commitment and sport enjoyment, perceived physical ability, and sport friendship quality. They perceived their parents to provide moderately strong levels of encouragement of their sport participation. Correlational analyses indicated moderate to strong relationships among sport commitment, sport enjoyment, and perceived physical ability. Sport commitment, parental encouragement, and sport friendship quality were only somewhat related. Regression analyses indicated that enjoyment was a significant predictor (i.e., 43% of the variance) of sport commitment. The sport experience was a positive one for these athletes and enjoyment is likely a critical motivational factor in promoting a continued desire to remain in sport.

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Jeffrey J. Martin

In the current study, variables grounded in social cognitive theory with athletes with disabilities were examined. Performance, training, resiliency, and thought control self-efficacy, and positive (PA) and negative (NA) affect were examined with wheelchair basketball athletes (N = 79). Consistent with social cognitive theory, weak to strong significant relationships among the four types of self-efficacy (rs = .22–.78) and among self-efficacy and affect (rs = -.40–.29) were found. Basketball players who were efficacious in their ability to overcome training barriers were also confident in their basketball skills and efficacious in their ability to overcome ruminating distressing thoughts while simultaneously cultivating positive thoughts. Athletes with strong resiliency and thought control efficacy also reported more PA and less NA. Multiple regression analyses indicated that the four efficacies predicted 10 and 22% of the variance in PA and NA, respectively.

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Jeffrey J. Martin

In the current study, social cognitive theory was examined with athletes with disabilities. More specifically, hierarchical and self-regulatory performance self-efficacy, self-regulatory training self-efficacy, outcome confidence, and affect were examined with wheelchair road racers (N = 51). In accordance with social cognitive theory, moderate to strong significant relationships among 3 types of self-efficacy and outcome confidence were found (rs = .41 - .78). All forms of self-efficacy and positive affect (rs = .39 - .56) were also related providing additional support to social cognitive theory and the important relationships among training and performance related efficacy and affect in sport.

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Jeffrey J. Martin

In the last 10-20 years sport psychologists have started to emphasize the value of mental strengths such as self-confidence for disability sport athletes (Martin, 2012). The pinnacle of disability sport competition, the Paralympics, is becoming increasingly competitive, suggesting a strong need for athletes to possess effective mental skills. Like the Olympics there is intense pressure to win at the Paralympics. In the current review article I discuss the body of knowledge in sport psychology that focuses on potential direct and indirect determinants of performance in elite disability sport. The review is organized around a personnel developmental model used by Martin (1999, 2005, 2012). This model is a humanistic model and revolves around foundation qualities, psychological methods and skills, and facilitative and debilitative factors. The premise of the model is also similar to McCann's sentiment that “at the Olympics [Paralympics], everything is a performance issue” (2008, p. 267).

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Jeffrey J. Martin

This paper examines the factors that make up a high-quality youth-sport experience for special-population children. It is important to note that special-population youth are often very similar to nondisabled children (e.g., seeking enjoyment in sport), but they experience different contexts and socialization experiences such as fewer opportunities and more barriers to sport participation. The author first examines positive factors in the youth-sport experience and discusses mastery experiences and the generation of positive affect. He also discusses how sport can promote feelings of belongingness, freedom, and independence. In the second part of the paper he discusses how the youth-sport experience can contribute to a negative experience by examining bullying and teasing, as well as “inspiration porn.” Inspiration porn is a relatively new concept in the disability literature that has not been discussed in a sport context. The author proposes a five-component model that links anecdotal reports of inspiration porn to theory, thus providing a basis for future research on inspiration porn. Throughout the paper he examines research in each area, theories used, important findings, salient take-home points, and future research directions and imbues the paper in a disability social-relational model that asserts that individual, social, environmental, and cultural factors all play a role as proximal and distal influences in the sport experiences of special-population youth.

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Jeffrey J. Martin and Kerry Smith

The purpose of the current investigation was to examine friendship quality with a best friend in youth disability sport with an international sample of moderately experienced athletes with disabilities ages 9 to 18 years. Participants were 85 males and 65 females from four countries who competed in track and field and swimming. Data were collected with the Sport Friendship Quality Scale (Weiss & Smith, 1999). An exploratory factor analyses indicated that participants viewed their friendship quality with a best friend in disability sport as having both positive and negative dimensions. The latter focused exclusively on conflict experiences. Females reported stronger perceptions of the benefits of their friendships than males did; whereas no gender differences occurred in perceptions of the negative aspects to friendships. Item analyses indicated that females scored higher than males on questions reflecting loyalty, providing intimacy, self-esteem, supportiveness, having things in common, and playing together.

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Brigid Byrd and Jeffrey J. Martin

The purpose of this cross sectional study was to predict feelings of belonging and social responsibility based on climate perceptions of youth participating in a middle school running program. Method: Seventy-four youth from a middle school track and cross country program in the Midwest participated. Results: Based on multiple regression analyses we predicted 52% of the variance in feelings of belonging largely due to perceptions of leadership emotional support and task climate and 25% of the variance in feelings of social responsibility largely due to perceptions of a caring climate. Conclusions: Our findings support the importance of middle school running programs which offered an environment allowing multiple psychosocial benefits, such as nurturing feelings of belonging and social responsibility.

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Jeffrey J. Martin and Nate McCaughtry

Researchers using social cognitive theory and employing built environment constructs to predict physical activity (PA) in inner-city African American children is quite limited. Thus, the purpose of our investigation was to evaluate the ability of important social cognitive variables (e.g., self-efficacy) and built environment constructs (e.g., neighborhood hazards) to predict African American children’s PA. Children (N = 331, ages 10–14) completed questionnaires assessing social cognitive theory constructs and PA. Using multiple regression analyses we were able to account for 19% of the variance in PA. Based on standardized beta weights, the best predictors of PA were time spent outside and social support derived from friends. These findings illuminate the valuable role of PA support from peers, as well as the simple act of going outside for inner-city African American children.