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Kathleen A. Martin Ginis

Over the past decade, researchers have faced increasing pressure to bridge the gap between the generation of new knowledge and the translation of that knowledge into applications and products that can benefit society. SCI Action Canada is an example of a community-university partnership approach to bridging the research generation-knowledge translation gap. It is an alliance of 30 community-based organizations and university-based researchers working together to increase physical activity participation among people living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). This paper provides an overview of activities undertaken by SCI Action Canada, presented within the framework of key principles of effective knowledge translation. Recommendations are made for the cultivation of successful community-university partnerships to develop, evaluate, and implement physical activity innovations.

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Kendra R. Todd and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis

Given profound physical, psychosocial, and environmental barriers to physical activity (PA), people living with spinal cord injury (SCI) are less active than virtually every other segment of the population. Nevertheless, people with SCI are not universally “sedentary.” Many people with SCI live physically active lives, and behavioral interventions have proven effective at increasing and maintaining both PA and fitness. This paper discusses PA and inactivity in the SCI population and reviews the who, what, and how of effective SCI PA-enhancing interventions. The authors conclude with 3 recommendations for increasing PA in other low-active populations: Know your audience and the issues, develop audience-specific messages and tailored interventions, and use behavior-change theory to develop messages and interventions.

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Tara-Lyn Elston and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis

This experiment compared the effects of self-set versus assigned goals on exercisers’ (N = 50, M age = 23.6) self-efficacy to perform a novel grip-strength task. After their first task attempt, all participants received the same bogus performance feedback. Participants in the self-set condition then set their own goal for their second attempt, whereas those in the assigned condition were given the goal of squeezing 3 more pounds. The assigned condition reported higher task-self efficacy (M = 58.7) than the self-set condition (M = 42.4) prior to their second task attempt (p = .02). These findings suggest that goals assigned by an authority figure can increase self-confidence in beginner exercisers.

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Elisa C. Murru and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis

This experiment examined the effects of a possible selves intervention on self-regulatory efficacy and exercise behavior among 19 men and 61 women (M age = 21.43 years, SD = 3.28) who reported exercising fewer than 3 times per week. Participants were randomly assigned to a control condition, a hoped-for possible selves intervention condition, or a feared possible selves intervention condition. The hoped-for and feared possible selves interventions required participants to imagine themselves in the future as either healthy, regular exercisers or as unhealthy, inactive individuals, respectively. Participants in the control condition completed a quiz about physical activity. Measures of self-regulatory efficacy (scheduling, planning, goal setting, and barrier self-efficacy) were taken immediately before and after the intervention. Participants who received either possible selves intervention reported greater exercise behavior 4 weeks and 8 weeks postintervention than participants in the control group. Planning self-efficacy partially mediated the effects of the possible selves intervention on exercise behavior over the first 4 weeks of the study. These findings highlight the effectiveness of possible selves interventions for increasing exercise behavior and the role of self-regulatory processes for explaining such effects.

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Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis

This study descriptively measured the universal accessibility of “accessible” fitness and recreational facilities for Ontarians living with mobility disabilities. The physical and social environments of 44 fitness and recreational facilities that identified as “accessible” were assessed using a modified version of the AIMFREE. None of the 44 facilities were completely accessible. Mean accessibility ratings ranged between 31 and 63 out of a possible 100. Overall, recreational facilities had higher accessibility scores than fitness centers, with significant differences found on professional support and training, entrance areas, and parking lot. A modest correlation was found between the availability of fitness programming and the overall accessibility of fitness-center specific facility areas. Overall, the physical and social environments of the 44 fitness and recreational facilities assessed were limited in their accessibility for persons with mobility disabilities. Future efforts should be directed at establishing and meeting universal accessibility guidelines for Canadian physical activity facilities.

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Desmond McEwan, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, and Steven R. Bray

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of depleted self-control strength on skill-based sports task performance. Sixty-two participants completed the following: a baseline dart-tossing task (20 tosses), with measures of accuracy, reaction time, and myoelectrical activity of the arms taken throughout; a self-control depletion (experimental) or a nondepletion (control) manipulation; and a second round of dart tossing. As hypothesized, participants in the experimental condition had poorer mean accuracy at Round 2 than control condition participants, and a significant decline in accuracy from Round 1 to Round 2. Experimental condition participants also demonstrated poorer consistency in accuracy compared with control condition participants at Round 2 and a significant deterioration in consistency from Round 1 to Round 2. In addition, consistency in reaction time improved significantly for the control group but not for the experimental group. The results of this study provide evidence that ego depletion effects occur in the performance of a skill-based sports task.

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Melissa N. Galea, Steven R. Bray, and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis

This study aimed to identify barriers and facilitators associated with walking for exercise among people who experience intermittent claudication. Fifteen individuals (7 men and 8 women) participated in 3 focus groups that were tape-recorded and content analyzed. A social-cognitive framework was used to categorize barriers and facilitators as those related to the person, to the activity, or to the environment. Variables identified included those specific to intermittent claudication and those common among the general population. Barriers to walking included irregular or graded walking surfaces, uncertainty about the outcome of walking, ambiguity regarding pain, the need to take rest breaks, and the presence of leg pain. Facilitating factors included availability of a resting place, use of cognitive coping strategies, companionship support, and availability of a treadmill-walking program. Findings are interpreted in light of current research on exercise determinants and encourage prospective examinations of the predictive validity of these factors for walking.

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Jessie N. Stapleton, Diane E. Mack, and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis

The aim of this meta-analysis was to examine the magnitude of the relationship between social influence and both PA behavior and PA-related social cognitions among samples of adults with physical disabilities, including those with chronic conditions that can lead to a physical disability. A comprehensive literature search was conducted to identify studies involving adults with physical disability, a measure of social influence, and a measure of PA behavior or PA-related social cognitions. A total of 27 studies with 4,768 participants yielded 47 effect sizes to be included for meta-analysis. Significant, small- to medium-sized relationships were identified between social influence and PA behavior, and social influence and PA-related social cognitions. These relationships suggest that social factors positively associate with physical-activity-related social cognitions and should be targeted when promoting physical activity behavior change among adults with a physical disability.

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Jacinta O’Brien, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, and David Kirk

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an 8-week body-focused physical and health education module on self-objectification and social physique anxiety (SPA) in a sample of 85 Irish schoolgirls. Classrooms were randomly assigned to receive the experimental module or the standard curriculum. Participants completed pre- and postassessments of the value they placed on objectifying and nonobjectifying physical attributes, along with a measure of SPA. Girls in the experimental condition increased the value they placed on physical health and strength, decreased the value they placed on sex appeal, and showed no change in SPA. Girls in the control condition decreased the value they placed on body weight and physical fitness and experienced a significant increase in SPA. These results suggest that a body-focused module can decrease self-objectification and prevent developmentally linked increases in SPA.

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Amy E. Latimer, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, and B. Catherine Craven

Using the theory of planned behavior as a theoretical framework, the present study examined psychosocial predictors of exercise intentions and behavior among 124 men and women with spinal cord injury. Theory of planned behavior constructs were measured using an exercise–specific questionnaire for individuals with spinal cord injury. Exercise behavior was assessed using an adapted version of the Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire. Regression analyses indicated that the theory of planned behavior had limited utility in this population. Among individuals with tetrapelgia, perceived behavioral control was the only determinant of exercise intentions and behavior. Among people with paraplegia, none of the theory of planned behavior constructs predicted exercise intentions or behavior. These results have methodological and practical implications for future research and exercise interventions, respectively.