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Kenneth R. Fox and Charles B. Corbin

The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument that would permit the application of recent advances in self-esteem theory to the study of self-perception in the physical domain. Open-ended questionnaire responses were used to identify important contributors to the physical self-esteem of a college age population. Based on these data, four subdomain subscales designed to assess perceived bodily attractiveness, sports competence, physical strength, and physical conditioning were constructed along with a general physical self-worth subscale as the basis of the Physical Self-Perception Profile. The sensitivity, reliability, and stability of the subscales were supported for both genders across three independent samples. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis indicated the discriminant validity of the subdomain subscales, supporting the concept of multidimensionality within the physical domain. Zero-order correlation, partial correlation, and multiple regression analyses provided results consistent with a three-tier hierarchical structure among self-perception elements. In addition, initial predictive validity of the subdomain subscales was evidenced through their association with degree and type of involvement in physical activity.

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Aphrodite Stathi, Kenneth R. Fox and James McKenna

Using a qualitative approach, the dimensions of subjective well-being of active older adults were outlined and ways identified through which they might be influenced by participation in physical activities. One-to-one and group interviews were used to collect the data. Using cross-case analysis, 17 main themes were identified. The following main dimensions emerged: developmental, material, physical, mental, and social well-being. The findings indicated that physical activity influences all dimensions of the subjective well-being of older adults, with the exception of material well-being. Physical activity appears to contribute to the mental health of older adults through maintenance of a busy and active life, mental alertness, positive attitude toward life and avoidance of stress, negative function, and isolation. The complexity of subjective well-being and the multiple roles of physical activity stress the need to extend qualitative research to sedentary older adults and the institutionalized elderly to explore the relationship between well-being and physical activity in later life.

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Po-Wen Ku, Jim McKenna and Kenneth R. Fox

Subjective well-being (SWB) and its relationship with physical activity have not been systematically investigated in older Chinese people. This study explored these issues using qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of 23 community-dwelling Chinese older adults (age 55–78 y, 12 women); 16 were physically active and 7 physically inactive. Using cross-case analyses, 7 dimensions of SWB emerged: physical, psychological, developmental, material, spiritual, sociopolitical, and social. Although elements of SWB may be shared across cultures, specific distinctions were identified. Active respondents reported the unique contributions of physical activity to the physical, psychological, developmental, and social elements of SWB. The findings suggest that physical activity could enhance the quality of life in Chinese older adults.

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Kenneth R. Fox, Charles B. Corbin and William H. Couldry

The Psychological Model for Physical Activity Participation and the Physical Estimation and Attraction Scales (PEAS) were developed by Sonstroem using adolescent male subjects. This study investigated the adequacy of the model and instrument for explaining the involvement of college-age females in physical activity. Results indicated that although the model worked similarly for both sexes, there were important differences. Attraction to physical activity, as measured by the Attraction scale, does not contribute to the model for the females in this study, but it does for males. Physical estimation emerged as a key factor, particularly for females, in its relationship with self-esteem, fitness, and physical activity levels. The Estimation Scale appears to be a reliable and powerful instrument for assessing this construct. Future application and development of the model and scales is discussed.

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Jolanthe L. de Koning, Afroditi Stathi and Kenneth R. Fox

The frequency of trips outdoors is a strong indicator of older adults’ physical activity levels. This qualitative study compared and contrasted determinants of trips outdoors between rural- (n = 13) and urban-living (n = 15) people aged 65 and older living in England. Interview transcripts were analyzed through directed and summative content analysis employing the Ecological Model framework. Some personal-level determinants (age-related barriers) and environment-level factors (car dependence, bus services) were shared across samples. The main differences were seen in how a community-based social network instigated trips outdoors for rural participants while family ties mostly led to trips outdoors for urban-living participants. Urban participants used and valued recreational facilities, but rural participants did not report them as important in determining trips outdoors. Strategies to improve public transport and minimize age-related barriers may translate from urban to rural contexts. However, social and/or physical environment interventions could be more effective if they were rural-grounded, not urban-translated.

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Mark G. Davis, Kenneth R. Fox, Afroditi Stathi, Tanya Trayers, Janice L. Thompson and Ashley R. Cooper

The relationship of objectively measured sedentary time (ST), frequency of breaks in ST, and lower extremity function (LEF) was investigated in a diverse sample aged ≥ 70 years (n = 217). Physical activity (PA) was assessed by accelerometry deriving moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA) minutes per registered hour (MVPA min · hr−1), registered ST (ST min · hr−1), and breaks in ST min · hr−1 (breaks · hr−1). LEF was assessed by the Short Physical Performance Battery. Univariate associations with overall LEF were MVPA (r = .523), ST (r = −.499), and breaks (r = .389). Adjusted linear regression including MVPA min · hr−1, ST min · hr−1, and breaks · hr−1 explained 41.5% of LEF variance. Each additional break · hr−1 was associated with 0.58 point increase in LEF. Breaks and MVPA had strongest independent associations with LEF. Promoting regular breaks might be useful in maintaining or increasing LEF and later life independence. This novel finding is important for the design of effective lifestyle interventions targeting older adults.

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Patrick W.C. Lau, Kenneth R. Fox and Mike W.L. Cheung

The purpose of this study was to examine the role of sport identity within a model of children’s sport participation. Participants were 238 boys and 231 girls aged 12 to 13 years from state secondary schools in Hong Kong. Questionnaires were administered in order to assess the influences of psychosocial and socioenvironmental constructs on children’s sport involvement. Regression analyses and path analysis were used to assess hypothesized relationships in the model. Results indicated that sport identity was the strongest predictor of children’s sport participation; perceived sport competence, peer influence, and relative autonomy index (RAI) were predictors of sport identity; and path analysis indicated that the data provided a good fit to the model featuring sport identity as the mediator between psychosocial and socioenvironmental variables and children’s sport participation.

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Nicholas L. Holt, Danielle E. Black, Katherine A. Tamminen, Kenneth R. Fox and James L. Mandigo

We assessed young adolescent female soccer players’ perceptions of their peer group experiences. Data were collected via interviews with 34 girls from two youth soccer teams (M age = 13.0 years). Following inductive discovery analysis, data were subjected to an interpretive theoretical analysis guided by a model of peer experiences (Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 2006). Five categories of peer experiences were identified across three levels of social complexity. At the interaction level players integrated new members into the team and learned to interact with different types of people. At the relationship level players learned about managing peer conflict. At the group level a structure of leadership emerged and players learned to work together. Findings demonstrated interfaces between peer interactions, relationships, and group processes while also simplifying some apparently complex systems that characterized peer experiences on the teams studied.

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Tanya Trayers, Debbie A. Lawlor, Kenneth R. Fox, Jo Coulson, Mark Davis, Afroditi Stathi and Tim Peters

Associations of objectively measured physical activity (PA) with objectively measured lower limb function in adults age 70 and older were studied. Lower limb function was assessed using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) and PA by an accelerometer providing mean daily counts per minute (CPM), mean daily steps and minutes of moderate or vigorous PA (MVPA) per day. A minority (32 [13%]) scored low (≤6 out of a maximum of 12) on the SPPB, but only 3 (1%) achieved recommended PA levels. Adjusting for confounders, the odds ratio of low SPPB (≤6) comparing those in the lowest one third to highest two thirds of mean CPM was 55 (95%CI: 6, 520); for mean steps per day it was 23 (95%CI: 4, 137) and for minutes of MVPA per day 56 (95%CI: 6, 530). Low levels of PA are common and are associated with poor levels of lower limb function in older adults.