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Securing External Funding: Five Strategies for Administrators and Faculty

Katherine Thomas Thomas

External funding increases as the number of quality proposals submitted increases; increasing the number of faculty submitting proposals is a logical step to increase external funding. Reflecting on a physical educator’s > $1.5 million grant portfolio, two main themes emerge: the role of the PI and the unit administrator. Realizing increases in external funding is in part a result of administrators empowering faculty for success, and five administrator strategies have been identified. These strategies include: (1) value all sources of external funding (e.g., teaching, research, outreach, federal, foundation), (2) reward the process and the outcomes (a good proposal is equal to a data-based paper), (3) facilitate connections for collaboration (e.g., spread the word about your faculty), (4) provide infrastructure (from labs to personnel evaluation), (5) identify and develop potential. Important strategies for PIs include: (1) write proposals, (2) take risks, (3) answer the phone, (4) details matter, and (5) seek collaborators.

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Fifteen Years of Promise in School-Based Physical Activity Interventions: A Meta-Analysis

Tiffany Myers Schieffer and Katherine Thomas Thomas

Increasing physical activity among children and adolescents continues to be a public health priority (Glickman et al., 2012), with a focus on evidence-based physical activity in school settings. While individual studies report benefits from school-based physical activity interventions, no data-based analysis of these interventions has been published. This meta-analysis examined the outcomes of 12 school-based interventions that reported data from both treatment and intervention groups. The design of each study was unique; including one or more of 19 dependent variables representing physical activity, knowledge, body composition, and cardiovascular measures, and one or more component of the Coordinated School Health Model (CSHM). Generally the benefits from the intervention were small and not significant; health knowledge was the exception. Interventions including more components of the CSHM and interventions of greater duration (e.g., more minutes) were associated with enhanced outcomes and explained 89% of the variance. Weaknesses in the design and analysis of some interventions were inappropriate experimental unit (individual rather than school), multiple analyses on the same data without correction (e.g., Bonferroni), multiple publications of the same data, and the inclusion of all students regardless of whether the student needed to increase physical activity/ftness or reduce body mass/fat.

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Predicting Physical Activity in 10-12 Year Old Children: A Social Ecological Approach

Tao Zhang, Katherine Thomas, and Karen Weiller

The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations among predisposing (perceived competence and enjoyment), reinforcing (social environments), enabling factors (motor skills, fitness, physical environments) and physical activity among 288 children, and to identify the age and gender differences among participants. The children completed previously validated questionnaires assessing their perceived competence, enjoyment, school social and physical environments, and physical activity. Physical fitness was measured by FITNESSGRAM fitness testing. Students’ motor skills were assessed by PE Metrics. The results indicated that perceived competence and enjoyment predicted physical activity for boys, while perceived competence was the only predictor for girls. Age effects for fitness and skill were significant, as were gender differences for skill, social environment and perceived competence. This study suggests the importance of supportive teachers who provide enjoyable physical education that builds perceived competence for children to improve fitness, motor skill development and physical activity participation. The results support associations between predisposing factors and self-reported physical activity as theorized within the social ecological model.

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The Role of Perceived and Actual Motor Competency on Children’s Physical Activity and Cardiorespiratory Fitness During Middle Childhood

Xiangli Gu, Katherine Thomas Thomas, and Yu-Lin Chen

Purpose:

Guided by Stodden et al.’s (2008) conceptual model, the purpose of this study was to examine the associations among perceived competence, actual motor competence (MC), physical activity (PA), and cardiorespiratory fitness in elementary children. The group differences were also investigated as a function of MC levels.

Methods:

A correlational research design was used in this study. There were 262 children (Mage = 10.87, SD = .77) recruited from three schools in the southern U.S. Students’ MC was objectively measured based on a process-oriented assessment (PE Metrics, NASPE, 2010). Students self-reported perceived competence and leisure-time PA. Then, the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) and pedometers were used to measure students’ cardiorespiratory fitness and in-class PA, respectively.

Results:

The structural equation modeling analysis supported the significant indirect effect of the MC on cardiorespiratory fitness and PA through perceived competence. The MANCOVA yielded a significant main effect for MC groups after controlling for sex [Wilks’s Lambda = .838, F = 12.15 (4, 251), p < .001, η2 = .16]. Regardless of sex, children with low MC demonstrated lower perceived competence, PA, and cardiorespiratory fitness compared with children with higher MC (p < .001).

Discussion:

Development of students’ competence beliefs in PE and certain movement patterns should be emphasized, especially during middle childhood. High quality PE programs must be aligned with national standards, with particular attention to enhancing skill acquisition (standard 1) and PE-motivation (i.e., perceived competence; standard 5).

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Validity of the Multidimensional Outcome Expectations for Exercise Scale in Continuing-Care Retirement Communities

Katherine S. Hall, Thomas R. Wójcicki, Siobhan M. Phillips, and Edward McAuley

Objective:

The current study examined the psychometric properties and validity of the Multidimensional Outcome Expectations for Exercise Scale (MOEES) in a sample of older adults with physical and functional comorbidities.

Methods:

Confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine the hypothesized 3-factor model in 108 older adults (M age 85 yr) residing in continuing-care retirement communities.

Results:

Analyses supported the 3-factor structure of the MOEES reflecting physical, social, and self-evaluative outcome expectations, with a 12-item model providing the best fit. Theorized bivariate associations between outcome expectations and physical activity, self-efficacy, and functional performance were all supported.

Conclusions:

The 12-item version of the MOEES appears to be a reliable and valid measure of outcome expectations for exercise in this sample of older adults with physical and functional comorbidities. Further examination of the factor structure and the longitudinal properties of this measure in older adults is warranted.

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Predictive Strengths of Basic Psychological Needs in Physical Education Among Hispanic Children: A Gender-Based Approach

Tsz Lun (Alan) Chu, Tao Zhang, Katherine T. Thomas, Xiaoxia Zhang, and Xiangli Gu

Purpose: Based on the self-determination theory, this study explored the predictive strengths and relative importance of basic psychological needs (BPNs; i.e., autonomy, competence, and relatedness) in physical education in physical, cognitive, and psychological outcomes among Hispanic boys and girls. Methods: Fourth- and fifth-grade Hispanic children (N = 214; 110 boys and 104 girls) completed surveys measuring BPNs, effort in physical education, and general well-being and objective assessments of cardiorespiratory fitness and body mass index. Multiple regression analyses were performed on the three adaptive outcomes by gender to determine the relative importance of BPNs. Results: The analyses revealed that (a) competence was the most important BPN in predicting effort and well-being among both boys and girls; (b) relatedness predicted only well-being among boys, but both effort and well-being among girls; and (c) autonomy did not predict any outcomes. Conclusions: The findings highlight the importance of satisfying Hispanic children’s competence and girls’ relatedness in physical education.

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The Effects of Preparedness and Activity on Head Impacts in Lacrosse Athletes

Catherine E. Rogerson, Bradley C. Jackson, Katherine M. Breedlove, and Thomas G. Bowman

Considering the frequency and magnitude of head impacts occurring during sport participation is important to guide prevention initiatives. Our purpose was to compare magnitude and frequency of lacrosse players’ head impacts based on anticipation level and impact activity. Lacrosse athletes (16 men, 15 women) wore xPatch sensors during games and practices that measured impact magnitude (linear and rotational accelerations) and frequency of video verified head impacts. The interaction between impact activity and preparedness was not significant, multivariate: F(8, 1,730) = 1.03, p = .41, η2 = .01. Having a detailed understanding of the characteristics of head impacts could allow for focused interventions to reduce injury risk.

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Associations Between Physical Activity and Gross Motor Skills in Parent–Child Dyads

Katherine Q. Scott-Andrews, Rebecca E. Hasson, Alison L. Miller, Thomas J. Templin, and Leah E. Robinson

This study examines the associations of physical activity and gross motor skills in parent–child dyads. Parent–child dyads (N = 61, 84% mothers, children aged 8–11 years) participated in this study. Anthropometrics were self-reported through Qualtrics. Physical activity was assessed using accelerometers. Motor skills were measured through four skills: catch, kick, throw, and jump. These skills were assessed using process (i.e., performance criteria of the Test of Gross Motor Development-3) and product (i.e., catch percentage and jump distance) measures. A complete motor skill score was computed by standardizing both process and product scores and summing them. Correlation coefficients and ordinary least square regressions were computed to examine the associations of physical activity and motor skills. Parents’ and children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity were significantly associated (β = 0.30 ± 0.11; p = .008). Parents’ and children’s motor skills were significantly associated (β = 0.46 ± 0.18; p = .012). Understanding parent determinants can support effective interventions targeting children’s low physical activity levels and improving motor competence. Our results highlight the importance of parents’ physical activity and motor skills, which are significantly associated with those of their children. These parent factors may be a key consideration for effective family-based physical activity interventions.

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Head Impact Characteristics Based on Player Position in Collegiate Soccer Athletes

Katelyn M. Nelson, Elizabeth H.K. Daidone, Katherine M. Breedlove, Debbie A. Bradney, and Thomas G. Bowman

The study objective was to determine the magnitude and frequency of head impacts in NCAA Division III soccer athletes based on player position and type of play (offense, defense, transition). Across player position, male and female soccer defenders sustained the most head impacts (males IR = 18.89, 95% CI = 16.89–20.89; females IR = 8.45, 95% CI = 7.25–9.64; IRR = 2.23, 95% CI = 1.87–2.67). The study revealed a nonstatistically significant interaction between sex, player position, and type of play for both linear (p = .42) and rotational accelerations (p = .16). Defenders sustained the majority of the head impacts in the study sample, suggesting preventative initiatives should be focused on back row players.

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Muscle Forces and Their Contributions to Vertical and Horizontal Acceleration of the Center of Mass During Sit-to-Stand Transfer in Young, Healthy Adults

Elena J. Caruthers, Julie A. Thompson, Ajit M.W. Chaudhari, Laura C. Schmitt, Thomas M. Best, Katherine R. Saul, and Robert A. Siston

Sit-to-stand transfer is a common task that is challenging for older adults and others with musculoskeletal impairments. Associated joint torques and muscle activations have been analyzed two-dimensionally, neglecting possible three-dimensional (3D) compensatory movements in those who struggle with sit-to-stand transfer. Furthermore, how muscles accelerate an individual up and off the chair remains unclear; such knowledge could inform rehabilitation strategies. We examined muscle forces, muscleinduced accelerations, and interlimb muscle force differences during sit-to-stand transfer in young, healthy adults. Dynamic simulations were created using a custom 3D musculoskeletal model; static optimization and induced acceleration analysis were used to determine muscle forces and their induced accelerations, respectively. The gluteus maximus generated the largest force (2009.07 ± 277.31 N) and was a main contributor to forward acceleration of the center of mass (COM) (0.62 ± 0.18 m/s2), while the quadriceps opposed it. The soleus was a main contributor to upward (2.56 ± 0.74 m/s2) and forward acceleration of the COM (0.62 ± 0.33 m/s2). Interlimb muscle force differences were observed, demonstrating lower limb symmetry cannot be assumed during this task, even in healthy adults. These findings establish a baseline from which deficits and compensatory strategies in relevant populations (eg, elderly, osteoarthritis) can be identified.