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  • Author: Jillian Ryan x
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Sarah Edney, Tim Olds, Jillian Ryan, Ronald Plotnikoff, Corneel Vandelanotte, Rachel Curtis and Carol Maher

Background: Homophily is the tendency to associate with friends similar to ourselves. This study explored the effects of homophily on team formation in a physical activity challenge in which “captains” signed up their Facebook friends to form teams. Methods: This study assessed whether participants (n = 430) were more similar to their teammates than to nonteammates with regard to age, sex, education level, body mass index, self-reported and objectively measured physical activity, and negative emotional states; and whether captains were more similar to their own teammates than to nonteammates. Variability indices were calculated for each team, and a hypothetical variability index, representing that which would result from randomly assembled teams, was also calculated. Results: Within-team variability was less than that for random teams for all outcomes except education level and depression, with differences (SDs) ranging from +0.15 (self-reported physical activity) to +0.47 (age) (P < .001 to P = .001). Captains were similar to their teammates except in regard to age, with captains being 2.6 years younger (P = .003). Conclusions: Results support hypotheses that self-selected teams are likely to contain individuals with similar characteristics, highlighting potential to leverage team-based health interventions to target specific populations by instructing individuals with risk characteristics to form teams to help change behavior.

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Srinidhi Bellamkonda, Samantha J. Woodward, Eamon Campolettano, Ryan Gellner, Mireille E. Kelley, Derek A. Jones, Amaris Genemaras, Jonathan G. Beckwith, Richard M. Greenwald, Arthur C. Maerlender, Steven Rowson, Stefan M. Duma, Jillian E. Urban, Joel D. Stitzel and Joseph J. Crisco

This study aimed to compare head impact exposures between practices and games in football players ages 9 to 14 years, who account for approximately 70% of all football players in the United States. Over a period of 2 seasons, 136 players were enrolled from 3 youth programs, and 49,847 head impacts were recorded from 345 practices and 137 games. During the study, individual players sustained a median of 211 impacts per season, with a maximum of 1226 impacts. Players sustained 50th (95th) percentile peak linear acceleration of 18.3 (46.9) g, peak rotational acceleration of 1305.4 (3316.6) rad·s−2, and Head Impact Technology Severity Profile of 13.7 (24.3), respectively. Overall, players with a higher frequency of head impacts at practices recorded a higher frequency of head impacts at games (P < .001, r 2 = .52), and players who sustained a greater average magnitude of head impacts during practice also recorded a greater average magnitude of head impacts during games (P < .001). The youth football head impact data quantified in this study provide valuable insight into the player exposure profile, which should serve as a key baseline in efforts to reduce injury.